Thursday, October 27, 2011

Showing Up for the Little Things

photo source

I am not a big fan of Halloween.  For the most part, I tolerate it.  It is cute, it is fun (I guess), but my happiest moment is November 1st-because it is O V E R! 

This year it is especially bad.  My husband usually out-trumps me in hating Halloween.  I think I have out-trumped him this year. 

The kids, of coarse, LOVE I try to get in the mood to do all the [fun] traditions.

Today was the pumpkin carving contest at school.  They have been sending notices home for about 3 weeks, gearing us all up for it.  For the most part, I enjoy decorating pumpkins for the contest. Sometimes, I feel artsy-craftsy, and have fun trying to think of fun things to create out of the pumpkins. 

We have only won once, and that was the year we turned the pumpkin in to Cinderella's stagecoach.  We had Prince Charming driving the horse drawn carriage, as well as Barbie/Cinderella sitting inside, waving out the window. We  spray painted the pumpkin with gold shimmery glitter-the whole works. It was fun.

Today,  I feel I gave birth to 2 pumpkins.  I refer to it that way because of how hard it was and how much I wanted to be somewhere else doing anything different. Yesterday I got hit hard and fast with strep throat and  carving pumpkins was the LAST thing I wanted to do this morning.  There was  no artsy-craftsy creative juices flowing at all. My first and only thought was how can I pull this off with the smallest amount of effort?

 Our first pumpkin was in the shape of an apple, so  I let daughter # 7 paint it RED.  She loved every second of it.  We cut a hole, made The Hungry Little Caterpillar out of pipe-cleaners and pom-pom balls and called it done.  It sounds plain, and it was, but it did turn out rather cute.

Of coarse daughter #8, wanted me to C-A-R-V-E her pumpkin.  She didn't want [me] to take the easy way out. We have a book with pumpkin carving patterns, and I asked her to pick one...hoping she would pick the EASY one.  No, she picks the black-widow spider. Besides the fact that  I HATE spiders, this was the most difficult pattern in the book. 

I gave it my best effort, trying to carve the silly spider without cutting all the legs off in the wrong places.    The final product was good, and we were all proud when it was done. 

WHY do we do these crazy things we hate would rather not do, for these silly traditions? 

What motivates me or anyone else out there to decorate 2 pumpkins at 6:30 in the morning?

I guess for me, I knew my girls had their hearts set on it, and were counting on me.  The fact that I was not feeling well, was tired, didn't want to be there, didn't cross their radar screen.

In all reality, it wasn't that big of a deal.  We all lived through it, and I felt good that I did something that mattered to my children, and my girls were proud to carry their pumpkins into school and to be apart of something bigger than themselves, and ultra-important in their eyes.

  I was impressed with how organized the PTA was when we arrived.  They even gave each participant a prize.  So now, no matter what,  each child feels important and that they have won.

It is so crucial that we as parents "step- up" and try our hardest to "show-up" to those little things that matter in the lives of our children. 
They are counting on us.