I have been making a habit lately to stop by a second hand shop or two when I am out and about. I don't always have time to rummage through to find the winning items, so when I come across something amazing, I am so thankful.
This week I pounced on a handmade beautiful knit cardigan that looked like the perfect size for Eden. It feels heavy and soft, probably 100 percent cotton with beautiful sleeve detail and matching red buttons.
On our walk home from school that day I told her about the cardigan.
"I found a beautiful red cardigan at the op shop for you today Eden, it will look so pretty on you" Her eyes shone. She loves when I think of her.
When we arrived home and I produced said cardigan she pouted.
"It's supposed to be shiny! You said shiny!"
Surprised, I reminded her of how I described the cardigan and asked her to try it on, which she did most reluctantly.
It looked gorgeous against her golden skin, and bunched up sweetly at her elbows.
But because she had imagined something completely different, she was disappointed.
She shrugged it off, sullen.
With a sigh I folded it and put it atop her drawers (where Indiecat later decided it made a cosy sitting place!).
I smiled to myself when I thought about her imagining a shiny red cardigan. Probably sparkly, and new.
And I thought how often we are disappointed with something for the simple reason that it was not what we expected.
How expectations can kill joy.
From relationships, to experiences, to life in general, how often we say, "What?! This isn't what I had imagined! This isn't the picture-perfect life I had in mind!"
A few days later, in the chilly afternoon air, I asked her to find a cardigan to cover cool, bare arms. I was surprised to find her wearing the red cardigan, she was previously so unhappy with. When I mentioned it, she told me it was really soft and warm. She touched the shiny red buttons happily.
She had finally seen it for what it was.
Perhaps not what she had imagined, but lovely in it's own way.
I thought of moments, and relationships in my own life.
Some things have just not been as I'd imagine.
But I need to repent of my often unrealistic expectations.
Look for the loveliness, even if it comes in the form of imperfection and skipped stitches.