The past few days have been no school days for my daughters. This has meant loose schedules, lazier days, and plenty of free time for them. This has also meant more fighting, messes, noise, and the constant popular chorus of "Mom, Mom, Mom..." filling my house. Don't get me wrong, I cherish these days. I do. I love having kids. I love being a mom. I know these days will go way. too. fast. However, when I'm riding the waves of hormones and my nerves feel like someone is pinching them with a wire cutter, I turn into more of a nagging witch-like (perfect for Halloween) mom instead of a patient, creative and bubbly one. That was yesterday. But it didn't last.
As I made my way into the dining room mid-nag to ask my oldest daughter to do something I had asked for repeatedly, I was greeted with the sweetest of surprises. The table was set with my grandmother's china (which we rarely use) and I could see that she was in the process of putting something very special together for the family. There was a creepy menu being made and the table was decorated in cobwebs, mini pumpkins and spooky looking name cards for all of us. No wonder she was asking me all morning what dinner was going to be. Instead of quinoa, it was going to be fish eggs. Instead of beets, it would be bloody brains. Lemonade was snake venom. You get the drill.
Seeing my little girl put this special memory into the making melted my heart. Not only did it make me smile to see my grandmother's china all set out, but I felt so proud that creating this memory and fun now new tradition was something of value to her. And she got the other two kids in on the action. They were decorating the chalk board, picking out Halloween music, and deciding on costumes and decorations for the house. All I had to do was cook.
By the time dinner rolled around, I was wearing a blue wig and a black dress and I had a little witch and two vampires dancing merrily around the house. In between grilling the human thighs (chicken) and steaming the worms (green beans) we took turns hitting the spooky dance floor and busting a groovin' move. I was still a little irritable and low on patience but I was loving the fun everyone was having.
Dinner was ready just as my husband walked in the door with arms full of electrical things, big metal chunks of odds and ends and a smile on his face over how much fun he was going to have making his Whiplash costume (bad guy in Ironman 2) electrical engineer style! Looks like everyone was in the holiday spirit tonight.
|The final dinner menu consisted of fish eggs, thighs (human), tadpoles, octopus, snake venom, blood, bear blood, green worms, huge banana slugs, blood balls, bloody brains and few other appetizers.|
|A most spooktacular dinner!|
As the dinner progressed and we were sitting around the table giving cheers with our snake venom and bear blood (beer), I knew we were making a lasting memory. These are the parts in life that matter most someday. It isn't about having a clean house or making sure all the messes are cleaned up in the bedrooms (although that certainly keeps me from losing my mind). It isn't about how organized my cupboards and closets are. Or what kind of car we drive. It's not about having everything perfect all the time. What my daughter did for all of us last night was priceless. It's definitely going down on my list as something that I want to remember forever and a tradition worth continuing for always.
What are some fun family traditions you have, have had, or want to have for the holidays?
What's one of your best family memories from your childhood?