Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Things That Matter Most



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?



Amanda 

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16 comments:

  1. What a great family memory and moment! I can't wait to be a mom!

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    1. Thanks. It is the best part of life for sure!

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  2. What an awesome fun thing that your daughter put together to completely change the mood. I love it when kids concoct these amazing experiences. We had a crazy fashion show at our house the other day with my 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son. We were all smiling and laughing. Such happy memories for you!!!

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    1. Good to hear from you. This fashion show sounds awesome! Our kids are close to the same age...fun time in life.

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  3. That's awesome!!!! Definitely a big memory. We're having mummy meatloaf tonight, partly inspired by this little dinner post!

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  4. Helloooo! Great to read you again;-) what a sweet activity and future tradition. love it. With this time of year- we actually make a Dia de los Muertos altar~ and put pictures of people and pets that have passed away. This will be the first year the kids very own pet died and will be on the altar as well as the only great grandparent they were lucky to meet.

    and i love the pic of you and your daughter. can i say 'mini' YOU?? ;-)

    Hope you are well~
    AM

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    1. Hi stranger! Good to see you back. I've missed you. :) Cool tradition! Yes, he is my mini me...this isn't the best picture of her but there are some pics of her where she looks so much like me. Hope you are doing well...looks like it from reading your blog. Loved reading your goals!

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  5. That's so lovely to read. Traditions like that are what make being in a family such a wonderful and unique thing.

    When our kids were younger it was all about Christmas. Every Christmas eve we'd head into the city to look at the decorated shop windows and Christmas tree and follow it with dinner out. One year all the boys had a virus which filled their mouths with ulcers and couldn't really eat so for that Christmas eve our dinner out was thickshakes. Not nutritious but at least it didn't hurt to eat. And the kids still remember it.

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    1. Hi Char. Yes, I love family. Christmas is the best. Same with Thanksgiving. Love this memory. These are the things they remember. One time we put the kids to bed early just so we could tell them to get out of bed and in the car so we could all go to ice cream. They loved it and still talk about it!

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  6. That is the coolest thing ever!!!
    I love that your daughter took the initiative to plan all of that and set it up and got the younger 2 in on it!!
    You are doing an incredible job helping them learn to turn a plain day into a special one!!!

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  7. What a wonderful time... and such a great surprise for you too! I love this kind of thing. I have so many happy childhood family memories and I love to see other families making them too. Happy Hallowe'en to you all!

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  8. You're posts always make me think about life and reflect on what's important. Like most people, my family is #1. One of the funnest traditions is watching Christmas Vacation together each year the week before Christmas, but there are many others too. Sweet post.

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    1. Thanks Jim. Yes, Family is #1! I love these little traditions that come to be such a big part of our memories.

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