Lessons In Disguise
Finding Balance by Jessica
It used to drive me crazy as a kid. There I was, trying to squeeze the last bit of fun and freedom out of August before school started, when BAM! Store displays of beach towels and bathing suits disappeared, replaced by back-to-school supplies nestled between sparkling witches hats, flying brooms and cauldrons of candy. But the final nail in the coffin of summer was seeing the previews before the summer matinee movies shift from Superman to Nightmare on Elm Street.
I never liked the scary stuff. Grotesque masks depicting the walking dead never appealed to me. Visages of blood-stained Dracula, mummies with peeling, decaying skin? So not my thing.
However, fall itself? The changing leaves, the crisp air, bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils and harvest moons? I adored. Sign me up for the pumpkin patch! Let me help you bundle your clusters of dried corn stalks, and stuff your scarecrows. I'll take you to bob for apples, and afterward we can buy new sweaters.
Though I tried to turn Halloween into more of a Harvest Festival at my house, the lure of costumes and candy was too great. So my kids and I, we've made a compromise. No icky, bloody, death costumes in exchange for trick-or-treating to their hearts’ content. Um, as long as we can all skip the gloomy houses draped in massive inflatable black widows and blaring funeral music.
Last year we decided to take the costuming thing to an educational level. Wait! I know that sounds super boring, but it was so much fun! Since we were learning a lot about geography last year, my husband became convinced we could think up costumes that would turn us all into the continents of the world. "With globe heads!" he yelled, punctuating his statement with a fist punch to the sky. The kids cheered, and I knew I'd lost. I was trying to convince everyone that the easier-to-construct Greek Gods idea would be the coolest family costume theme ever. What are tinfoil-wrapped lightning bolts when you can have a globe head?
After several more brainstorming sessions, we began transferring a giant map to a huge canvas cloth I dyed blue. When the pencil drawings were complete, we started painting. Now (spoiler alert!), our world costumes were a total bust. But the process of painting the world together, a huge scale? Super awesome. We couldn't locate enough globes to make into hats, and the inflatable variety made our heads sweat. Our billowing world capes looked more like shower curtains, and the kids didn't feel dressed up at all, yet the process remains a highlight of my parenting “YES!” moments. Painting the world, discussing each country and spending tons of quality family time together. What's not to love?
After realizing my husband's big world idea just wasn't going to cut it for trick-or-treating, I kept my "I told you so" gloating to a minimum, purchased some cloth and started sewing like mad. Two days before Halloween, I successfully turned all the kids into American Indians, and my husband and I into Pilgrims. This year? Greek Gods for the win! I'm totally going as Athena, and the boys are battling with their dad for the right to hold the title of Zeus. My money is on the 10 year-old.
Get to Know Jessica
Take a closer look at the blogger, wife, mother, and master of...
Picking Your Battles05/09/2013
Book Club: Jessica's Pick04/04/2013
We Are Family04/04/2013
Navigating the Online Sea03/13/2013
Kindness in the Everyday01/10/2013
Lessons In Disguise10/12/2012
Book Club: Jessica's Pick10/12/2012
The Gathering Ritual09/06/2012
No Manners Dinner08/16/2012
Summertime Swim Camp
Balancing It All Through Routine06/21/2012