Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How I spent All Hallows Eve

Did everyone have a safe and happy Halloween? It was a fun day here. We started off by going to Mass, where it was my turn to teach Children’s Liturgy. Here comes a confession (Catholics like to confess things ya know)…when I first started the current Children’s Liturgy program at our church, I did so basically because my own children were driving me bonkers. You see, I have really great children who, unfortunately, can’t sit still for one whole minute much less one hour. There are some adults who have a tough time with that too, but that's okay. I know that different believers worship in different ways. I like to think of myself as a “still waters run deep” kind of person. I hear God clearest when I am silent. For me, going to Mass used to be my time for learning, reflection and prayer. But that was before children. After children it became a time of stress, embarrassment and even anger. Finding my “still” in church with my children next to me was pretty much impossible. It was then that I decided that if you can’t beat ‘em (because regardless of where you stand on physical discipline, BEATING ‘em is never a good idea) – join ‘em! Instead of getting upset at my wiggle worms for constantly disrupting my church time, why not help make their church time more of a learning experience on their level? The church was very receptive to my offer to begin a Children’s Liturgy program and so it began. Don’t get me wrong, my darlings are still quite capable of making me want to pull my hair out every Sunday, but somehow it all balances out now.

This Sunday we had a fairly large group of children attending. That would be a great thing, except for the fact that the only area we have to hold CL in is a rather small room just off the side of the cry room. When you have 30 children packed in a tiny room, things can get a bit chaotic. I had to asked them to “show me you’re listening” just under 80,000 times. After our Gospel story and discussion, I gave up, umm...I mean, decided to use the rest of the time for fun. They each took turns telling us all what they were going to be for Halloween. One little boy was quite eager to let us all know that he was going to be a “warrior.” By that time, I was more than ready for a bit of peace and quiet, so when he said that, my mind went straight to imagining I was home alone, in a yoga warrior pose, listening to something soothing. That mental escape only lasted about .00000007th of a second but it was enough to make it through the rest of class.

There was no time for yoga after church. Instead the children and I headed to PetSmart to get a giant doggy carrier for Ke-kat. Why would we buy a giant doggy carrier for a cat you ask? Because otherwise, I was going to have to spend oodles of money that we don’t have budgeted, in therapy bills. For me. I’ll explain more about that tomorrow (yes, I’ll post all about it tomorrow. Or the next day. Or soon. I will be soon.) After the pet store, I decided to take the kids to Chick-fil-A for lunch. Uh huh. On a Sunday. Yeah, I’m brilliant like that. Have you heard that Chick-fil-A song?

I could hear his voice in my head as I neared the restaurant and saw the empty parking lot. :::sigh::: I totally respect their reason for being closed on Sunday, but at the same time….I wanted waffle fries! We settled for a local pizza place instead and then headed home. The rest of the afternoon was fairly uneventful, except for Anna and Derek asking me, every fifteen minutes, if it was time to go trick or treating. Finally that time did draw near. They got into their costumes.


Our costumes have been getting a lot of use here last couple of weeks. First there was the Night at the Boo-seum – a local Halloween fest held on the site of our future Children’s Museum (which has been in the works for over a decade now…I’m hoping that it gets built before I have grandchildren.) Anna absolutely refused to wear the princess costume that she HAD to have when we went costume shopping. It didn’t itch in the store, but it did once we got home. Go figure! Instead she slipped on her trusty Mulan costume. That Mulan dress is probably the best clothing purchase I’ve ever made. It was originally for Danielle…who passed it down to Emily…who passed it down to Anna, who keeps it with her play “dress up” clothes and even occasionally uses it as pajamas. Unlike most costumes, it apparently doesn’t scratch, bind or feel uncomfortable in anyway at all. Why can’t all costumes be like that?

Since she was Mulan, I made a last minute decision to dress up in the kimono that Danielle wore at Mechacon this past summer. At first Anna was excited about my dressing up with her, but became somewhat impatient when I tried, in vain, to tie the obi semi correctly. "Just hurry up already" she pleaded. After several tries I admitted defeat and just “did it my way.”

Our next costume outing was for the Friday before Halloween. The elementary kidlets got to dress up for school, and I got to dress up – for school too (I was subbing at the preschool.) Aren’t we all too cute?

One very dear friend saw this photo and commented that I was missing a kid. I mistakenly assumed that she forgot that I have four children and laughingly pointed out that the pic was missing TWO children, not just one. That’s when she told me she first thought it was my oldest and two youngest in the pic. Oh yeah!!! I was mistaken for a 16 year old. Wooooohooo! That totally makes up for the Walmart cashier NOT carding me a couple of weeks ago when I purchased some beer for hubby’s fishing trip. Belch…beer. Buying the stuff was yucky enough. Not being carded was just insulting. So what if the only way I can look too young to buy alcohol is in a Halloween pic where I’m wearing my daughter’s costume. I’ll take it!

The younger two got to wear their costumes AGAIN on Saturday when we went to my sister’s party. By Sunday, I was pretty impressed with how well Derek’s ninja outfit was holding up after so many wearing and washings. I did not put the kimono back on when I took them trick or treating. Instead, I got all deck out in witch dress. Yeah – we like dressing up at our house.

I also really like seeing all the little ones in their various costumes. That’s part of trick or treating that I like best. They get candy. I get to say things like “oh, look at that precious little Ladybug.” Or “What a great pirate!” Or “Hey ninja dude!” That last one earned me a scolding look and an indigent “Mrs. Sandy! I told you this morning that I’m a WARRIOR!” Opps. Sorry. My mistake.

At home, we divvied up the candy loot (because big sisters need candy too even if they did nothing but sit home and wait for the goodies to come to them.) I inspected it all looking for Butterfingers before letting them eat three pieces each and bagging the rest for later. Then it was time for baths and other bedtime rituals (why do I still have to remind my 14 year old to brush her teeth?) As I put Anna to sleep, I could hear that at least one of the others was moving around – out of their bedroom. Ordinarily I would have called out another “it’s BEDTIME” reminder, but it was Halloween and I let the offender slide. Later, when I went to finish MY bedtime ritual of cleaning the kitchen, I was greeted with…a clean table, wiped counter-tops and all of the dirty dishes stacked neatly next to the sink waiting for me to wash them.

I hope that I don't have to wait until Halloween 2011 to get treated like that again!

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