Battles, chosen.

If i could go back to when i was pregnant with my first and write The Mighty List of Commandments By Which I Will Accomplish Supreme Parental Superiority Above All Who Have Gone Before Me…..

you know… that list you made in your head before you had kids about how you’re going to do things differently and somehow  achieve some level of supreme connectivity with your child that transcends the average level of connection achieved by mere mortal parents and their children-

YOU KNOW that list- the one that includes things like :

MY CHILD WILL ONLY CONSUME THE PURE UNFILTERED HOLYMOTHERWATER THAT FLOWETH FROM MY BREASTESES UNTIL MY CHILD SUBMITS A LETTER OF REQUEST- IN HIS OR HER OWN HAND- FOR ORGANIC AVOCADO, MASHED BY MY OWN TOES, TO ACCOMPANY THE NECTAR OF MY TA-TAS.

or…

MY CHILD WILL ONLY PLAY WITH WOODEN TOYS. AND THE WOOD SAID TOYS ARE HAND CARVED FROM MUST NOT COME FROM A TREE FELLED BY MAN’S HAND- NO-  BUT ONE WHO BOWED TO THE EARTH, WILLINGLY, WHILE A COVEN OF GREY-HAIRED WICCAN WOMEN CHANTED ANCIENT AND VERY CREEPY CHANTS OF GRATITUDE WHILE HOLDING HANDS, SQUATTING, AND SIMULTAINOUSLY MENSTRUATING ON THE SOIL AT THE BASE OF THE FALLEN HERO TREE FOR TO NOURISH THE SOIL SO THAT FUTURE TREES MIGHT THRIVE.

and oh how the list could go AAAWN-NEE-NON-NEE-NON (steve perry style).

public school? NEVER!

television? ONLY PBS! AND ONLY RARELY!

candy? fast food? little debbies????? FRANKLY, I’M OFFENDED YOU’D EVEN SUGGEST!!!!!

i wish that i’d written this list down- because when i can’t seem to conquer my insurmountable to-do lists these days, it’d sure be nice to have a list it would be easy to cross things off of. whilst laughing a boarderline crazy-lady laugh no doubt.

ha. ha. ha.

sigh.

i thought i had scratched every annoying dandruffy flake of Overachieving Parental Inferiority Complex (OPIC) outta my hair by now.

the kids are in public school. they eat candy and cool ranch doritos. in fact, they sit on the couch, and play completely sedentary video games (yeah- i let the wii in the house under the guise of ‘active and interactive screen time’- who was i foolin’? me. thazzall.) while eating candy and cool ranch doritos and avoiding public school worksheets.

what. eves.

but it turns out there was a lurking OPIC trigger that i’d yet to circumnavigate. and this halloween brought it ‘to my mindful attention for processing and integration blah blah blah annoying lessons learned yadda process blah blah’.

This year…

wait for it…..

the second born is wearing a completely store bought halloween costume. the first one either kid has worn since i became a highly neurotic and insecure parent over 12 years ago.

i know there was SOMETHING on The Mighty List Of Commandments about homemade halloween costumes. I’m certain of it.

and it had to do with LINEAGE! and INTEGRITY! and ANTICONSUMERISM! and CREATIVITY!

and it had NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH EGO AND INSECURITY!

(note: this is not an anti-homemade halloween costume rant. like, AT ALL at all. the eldest let me collaborate and help bedeck her out in fully thrifted and handmade glory. this is more about what i was resisting by dogmatically holding onto some redonkulous belief that store bought costumes were me letting my children down…. and perhaps me struggling to maintain my role in my village as a creative planner-aheader.)

But right now all i know is that my tiny boy- the one who comes home crying at least once a week from school because he feels like he doesn’t know how to connect with other kids, my boy who is terrified of halloween and who is THRILLED tomorrow is halloween not because of candy, (and he’s candy obsessed-) but  because it means that the day after tomorrow all the decorations come down and the neighborhood returns to it’s normal, relatively safe, utterly familiar self…

my tiny boy went to bed wearing his store bought halloween costume (he’s barely taken it off since we found it several days ago).  with a GIANT smile on his face and feeling at home in this world.

and who’s my smallest-third-grader-at-zilker-elementary going to be this year? who does he utterly embody when bedecked?

why, The Hulk, of course.

My Tiny Happy Hulk.

if it’s a $3 thrift store commercial halloween costume that makes this kid feel like he can SMASH!!!! then who the hell am i to shove my stuff all up in that and deny??? who, i ask you?

no seriously. i’m asking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized on 10/31/2012 04:23 am
 

16 Comments

  1. I love this post so much, Kathy! You’re such a good mama. (((hugs)))–Vic

  2. Oops, sorry I spelled you name wrong, Kathie! I’m an end-with-an-”ie” too, so I can’t believe I missed that!

  3. Oh little Hulk. And his beautiful mama.

    Sweetness.

    Now I feel shame of course about my hand-made costume post. But I think I’m gonna post another one because i learned something these last few days. It’s not a contest of who-can-make-the-best rather it’s an exercise for me in how to make something that is representative without being overly involved.

    And thrift store scores totally count in the creativity genre. Just so you know. But I’m not the judge am I? WHich I guess is your point. It’s not for us to judge.

    Okay, I’m going to do some tapping now.

    • oh bern! no shame! i missed your post- so i hope this didn’t come off as some sort of response to it…. and the thing is, i have my own deep belief that digging stuff out and creating something from nothing is not only awesome but also super fun. which is why i needed to post this. because i’m finding that i need to hold my beliefs close and at the same time continue to keep them distant enough to be able to observe them and untangle where they came from and who they serve and how. which i know you do too. which is why i’m going to go find your post and love it. i’m sure of it. love love love love love.

  4. Two thumbs up!! I just love this post!!

  5. BINGO! Everything you’re talking about. I love Halloween so much, I can’t let my unreasonable expectations for making/thrifting costumes for 3 kids plus myself stress me out and ruin the holiday. At least 1 child gets a packaged costume each year. The most important thing is the magic that ensues once the costumes are on.

  6. The best thing about this, I think, is that you were totally willing to give up your homemade-is-better gut feeling for the little man. Or big man.

    • i can’t say i gave that gut feeling completely up- but i do think i set it aside and reminded myself how desperate i was as a child for a store bought costume. and you know what? barb lebeck, seamstress extroidinare and frugal mama, bought me the damn Caspar the friendly ghost costume. and seemingly it didn’t serve to completely extinguish my creative leanings.

  7. It all shifted for me around my son’s 3rd birthday. My mama was in town earlier in the month to celebrate his birthday as she could not be here on party day. We were in HEB getting “whatever” and my son was thrilled and mesmerized by the cake section. He immediately started clamoring for a Thomas the Tank cake. I (condescendingly, I now know) distracted him and denied him and “blankety-blanked” him as I would NEVER, but NEVER let my child have one of those disgusting cakes with a commercial toy on it, no less! My mother walked along with us slowly and then said, carefully, “Why on earth won’t you let him have a Thomas cake?” I went off on my whole philosophy for god knows how long. She listened and then quietly said, “Whose birthday is it, yours or his?”
    I was toast.
    She was so right.
    I cared because, well, I cared about the food issue, but I REALLY cared because I didn’t want to be judged by my crunchy friends and my crunchy self.
    I felt SO PROUD of myself as I turned that cart around and we ordered an effing Thomas cake and he FREAKING LOVED THAT THING and so did every other kid at the party.
    I know some parents would feel great growth that they made a healthy homemade cake and didn’t give in to the pressure, but I felt so very wise and happy as I put aside my shit and let my kid have the cake that he wanted.
    Thanks for this wonderful post. I love reliving that memory.

    • i can so relate to your story- food is an area where i have a VERY hard time letting go of the reigns. not that i believe i should completely let go- but perhaps i need to learn to loosen them enough not to breed OCD hoarding type behaviors in my kid. lawdy.

  8. love love love love love heartheartsparklyheart. This is just beautiful & candid & splendidly, wholly, magically TRUTH! I also love MamaHolt’s story in the comments :)

  9. did your Hulk come by our house last night? I saw one Hulk — one of my faves of the night!!

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