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Entries in halloween (2)


Halloween. Meh. I mean... YAY! :D

I think holidays bother me because they have to do with high expectations. While I strive to be hopeful in life, the darkest part of my nature tends to remind me that people who have high expectations suffer the most crushing manner of disappointment. I have to be intentional about wanting specific outcomes but also remain open to the idea that things will be alright (maybe even great!!) if they turn out differently than planned.

Holidays test me hard in that respect. 

Now that we've dispensed with my attempt at depth on much less sleep than is remotely adequate, let me tell you about the real reason Halloween sucks.

I have two children. Between school, friends and extracurriculars, we have had to put together six different costumes. Wednesday Addams, the Weird Girl from the Scream, 70s Flower Girl, Pele, Crazy Hippie, and some character from some television show I don't even know about.

I will not sit here and bitch about how this was not a thing when I was their age. But.

This was not a thing when I was their age. You dressed up and got candy. Thee were no theme parties. No, there was a theme. It was "AREN'T I CUTE, GIVE ME CANDY."

The younger one let me know last week that my Amazon cart was full of stuff he needed for his costumes.



Let's stop a second for my peeps that were born in the seventies.

Can you all even imagine going to K Mart or Pic N Save (!) with your moms and your mom tells you to watch the cart while she goes and talks to your neighbor who she sees everyday. She's gone for, like, thirty minutes because Adam Walsh hasn't been kidnapped yet, and when she comes back and you have $150 worth of accessories for your Halloween costumes (PLURAL) in the cart. At this point, she can't even find the "I Can't Beleive It's Not Butter!" anymore so she can't see the recipe on the side  and now cannot buy what she needs to make whatever cancerous treat she's going to send to school with you tomorrow. 

Then you say, "Mama, would you buy me that stuff when you get a chance?"

I don't want to divulge too much about my family secrets, but I will tell you that if I had done that our story would likely have made into the first season of Snapped.

I just told the boy that I would give him $25 and he could buy eighty two costumes for all I cared. 

The older one was chill about the ruling because she never spends money and probably because she has a small fortune that would rival a LDC in her sock drawer. The younger one was... upset... because he does things like send Andrew Jacksons to his friends so they can buy the same video games (apps?) he has on his iPad. 

I feel like in those moments when this boy is upset, I just have to remind him (and myself) that holidays aren't about having the perfect costumes (or decorations). Holidays are about that opportunity to fall deeply into creating an important shared history with our friends, family and communities.  I get why my son is upset. I do. But I have to be strong for him because shared values between children and their parents require a commitment to consistency and thoughtful intention. He'll be okay.

(Okay. I have to disclose something. I actually don't get why he's upset. Just put your grandparent money in your sock drawer, son, and you won't have these issues).



Pumpkins and Possibilities

This past weekend, we drove from Memphis to New Orleans.

To the people who told me how wonderful it was that I would be so much closer to my brother now, I would like to say... SIX HOURS IS JUST ENOUGH TO STILL BE FAR.

But I got to see my brother who graciously took time off of his normally busy routine... Plus, Traci!!  And their baby girl!!  Come to think of it.  Six hours isn't really that long, anyway.

Time in New Orleans is usually spent some place that is both kid friendly and kind of cool.  Choices are obviously limited.

This year, we checked out a local tradition over at Canal Place, located on, not surprisingly, Canal Street.

Operation Pumpkin.

new orleans water board mark "The New Orleans Water Board Sewer Cover. Don't Steal Them."

Local surgeons get together, carve pumpkins, and sell them for $25 a pop to the public in order to raise money for The Children's Hospital.  The kids enjoyed themselves, and, dudes, look at this pumpkin.

I don't know that guy, but he has mad surgical skills.  If I ever need a plastic surgeon, I'm looking him up.  There were lots of artsy projects for the kids to do as well.

Anyway, as I walked through this mall, I thought, "Yeah, so I brought my kids to a mall for fun, this is so America."  Of course, I thought it in that cynical tone that implies that one is highly observant of the shortcomings of one's own society. In my defense, you haven't really experienced capitalism until you see small brown children begging for candy in a Coach store.

As soon as I thought that, though, I saw my niece and my own kids and I thought the same thought, far more softly and in a far different tone this time, "Yeah, this is so America."

"Cute, right?"

Thing is, to you, these may be just some cute kids.

When I looked at these kids in the middle of the Canal Place, though, I remembered something incredibly poignant.

Without America these children would not exist.  Were it not for this nation... their parents would never have met. I think that's pretty cool.

I think that's something to be proud of, too.

It's all fine and fun to be cynical, but every now and then, we should remember that we are a good people, a kind people, a unique yet diverse people, and that we have an extraordinary capacity for personal generosity and carving awesome pumpkins.

Just saying.

That was a good pumpkin, yo.

Happy (very early) Halloween.