Halloween Then & Now

So with the invention of social media, the devil’s website (Pinterest) and always present need to keep up with the Jones, Halloween has become a T-H-A-N-G and I am have become a part of the problem. Granted, a very C student part of the problem but still. For example, my daughter currently has two costumes, we’ve carved pumpkins and made Halloween cookies. We’re even buying the big candy bars. Is there an obesity problem in this country. Yes. Does my need to impress the neighbors with come before that problem. Fuck Yes.

That said, I LOVE Halloween: Celebration is fun! Candy is fun! Costumes are fun! I am not in any way bashing Halloween. This is more a commentary about how much it’s changed over the years. Growing up I had homemade costumes but none that involved sowing or preparation. More like my parents going, “Shit it’s Halloween, err…wear a night gown.” I wore a long flannel nightgown one year. I wanted to spruce it up, so I out a pillow under it to be (I guess) a pregnant girl in a nightgown?!?! I’m sure the neighbors were…confused. Another year my dad came home with a white hazmat type suit. My Dad (ever the nuclear power protester) told me to tell everyone I was a Chernobly victim. Sick of fighting nuclear power (at age 9) I went with a deflated Marshmellow Man.

So these costumes clearly aren’t ideal but it’s a nice reminder that nothing has to be perfect. Today my daughter threw a tantrum because she didn’t want to wear her monkey costume to music class, so she didn’t wear it and the world didn’t end. I never had fancy costumes or a ton of fanfare around Halloween but I always had a special place in my heart for it & It think it was because of the people I spent it with. I had a great neighborhood, with great people, who didn’t care that I was dressed as a little weirdo pregnant girl in a flannel nightgown. Nothing mattered more then the excitement of the night and the memories that were created.

So I am grateful for my friends & family and hope that my kids find a group people who will love them even if they are dressed as a unrecognizable deflated Marshmellow man.

Mom confession.

I lost my daughter in Kohls yesterday. For a FULL ten minutes. She likes to play hide and seek without telling anyone. Not for the joy of being found but humilation and terror hiding causes. A store clerk saw me yelling her name and assisted. She asked what she was wearing and I could not for the life of me remember. I only knew that it probably had dried yogurt & fresh mom tears on it.

Finally after ten minutes she was found. I was relieved and angry and embarressed. I was determined to not let this be a total loss though, so I continued shopping.

Then this exchange happened.

The store clerk came up to me and asked where “the other one was?” I point to my son, standing 10 feet away from me. She then says the most annoying thing I have ever heard. “Good. You don’t want to lose that one to.” My rage hit a level that was……new. How DARE this lady. I stood, frozen, GLARING.  All I could muster was a “Yeah, Obviously.” Obviously I don’t like losing my children. I didn’t birth them, feed and clothes them so I could lose them in a fucking Kohls of all places. I didn’t breastfeed for a year so I could set them free in a discount chain store. Run Free my child! Forever enjoy the jelly bean mix & match sales!

Seriously, if I’m going to WANT to lose my children it will be at a Nordstroms or Barneys. So people will say things like, “Shame Deirdre misplaced her children (again) but look at her! Shopping at a mid to high range store!”

I know I should cut this employee some slack. She probably doesn’t have kids and doesn’t understand the emotions that go into losing your kid. It was scary and for a moment made me feel like a incompetent mom. So when these moments happen: try compassion, not judgment. I don’t know a mother who hasn’t briefly lost their kid. We are human raising tiny humans who at a moments notice will run and hide and scare the shit out of you and then be found and smile and wipe boogers on you. It’s insanity.

We live in a constant state of insanity and sometimes the inmates run the asylum. If your one of those people who think or even worse say, “Not me, I would never, my kids are too scared, too disciplined, or my new favorite: you don’t want to lose your other kid too.” Word of advice: shut your mouth. Seriously. I wish I had something more profound or dignified. I don’t. Please just know no one wants to hear that. On my best day I don’t want hear that, on a day that I just spent  10 minutes frantically searching for my child in Kohls, I will MURDER* your face.

*Or write a strongly worded blog post, that you will never, ever read.

 

When life gives you lemons

Discussion after reading article on the health benefits of honey lemon water.

Me: “Devin we need to start drinking honey lemon water everyday. We can only buy organic lemons and buy a very particular kind of honey.

Devin: “Okay but where do you think we should get them from? How many lemons a we–

Me: “Sorry to interrupt but I’ve already stopped doing this.”

I Drank Warm Honey Lemon Water Every Morning for a Year (Here’s What Happened).

Focus. Focus. Focus.

I’m trying to be a better person (I know that’s a relief to some & to them I say: Shut up). I’m trying to focus on the positive, practice gratitude and take my energy & put it into giving back, creating and being a good mom. But it’s haaaaard. I get so distracted by things like presidential candidates saying things like, “Grab them by the pussy, it’s okay, I’m famous.” Or online mom bully groups berating other moms for their choices. Calling them ugly and bitches and other much more nasty things. My belief has always been a “see something, say something” & “nothing changes if nothing changes.” My husband is not always a fan of this attitude. Our beliefs are align but how we express them are not. He can’t understand why I fight with people online or buy lawn signs for yard supporting our presidential candidates. Why I have to be so vocal. Why my soap box is so much bigger then his.

I use to just say, “Nothing changes if nothing changes” and that if you believe in something you have to be able to articulate why. You have to be able to fight for it. To listen to the other side and then clearly state your ground. That’s how progress and growth happens. I still agree with those sentiments but it has gotten SO. MUCH. HARDER. Harder to have faith in humanity and the good and debate with dignity and respect, when there is a 24 hour news cycle, online anonymity, and facts have somehow become the enemy. I use to think if a tree falls in the forest and no one heard it, it still makes a sound. Of course it does. It fucking fell and it’s a god damn tree. I no longer believe that. It only matters if people heard it. So if you are hearing lies and hate and it’s all you hear: it’s all you believe.

For me it’s become important to examine who you are listening to. Are they coming from a place of love ? If you strip it down to it’s core, is there love and compassion or hate and fear.

I’m trying to find the balance between seeking out the positive and beauty in life and not sticking my head in the sand when things get rough. Denial is easy and empathy is hard but I truly believe that empathy leads to happiness and denial leads to you becoming an asshole. Denying your problems and the problems of the world, doesn’t make them go away. It makes them manifest inside and come out it weird, prick(ish) ways.

I know there is so much to be thankful for: health, family, music, friends.  I’m not trying to go all #blessed on you. I know the world can be a sad, scary place. I see the news, I know addiction and depression are real things. I struggle to find way to acknowledge those things while still being able to appreciate all that is right with the world. I know I should seek out more inspiring television, news stories, people. Sadly (for my husband) I’m probably not going to stop watching the Housewives franchise or stop debating politics. But I am going to take a break. Know my limit. We could spend our whole lives focused on changing what we believe to be wrong/negative and it’s a noble pursuit but it comes at a cost. Your happiness. So fight the good fight but make it a battle, not a war. Don’t become someone who’s so caught up in what your fighting against, you forget to appreciate the beauty in what your fighting for.