True Mama Confession: I Kind of Hate Halloween

rawpixel-1048261-unsplashTrue confession: I love fall, but I kind of hate Halloween. Sure the precious babes all decked out in their darling costumes make my heart smile, but beyond that…ehhh. I hate scary movies and anything occult. Maybe it all goes back to not being invite to the cool kids drinking party in middle school, but choosing instead to hold on (a little too long) to trick or treating. I will tell you, even though my oldest is but a toddler the thought of middle schoolers consuming alcohol is way scarier than any horror film I can fathom. Are you like me? Are you a Halloween hater or are ghosts and ghouls your jam? If the skeletal season isn’t for you, here are some tips I have found that have made my least favorite cold weather holiday more fun.

Make it about the kids.

This one is easy. From my first “mom” Halloween pregnant with my oldest, we made Halloween about handing out candy to little darlings and it was all the more fun. We dressed as a quarterback and a pregnant cheerleader, I thought I looked huge, quiet laugh for the sixteen week pregnant belly of a first time mom. Also of note, my lack of understand of how this costume could be offensive showcased how motherhood is a long lesson in sensitivity training. Long gone are the days of dressing up as a sexy fill-in-the-blank at a party filled with Jell-O shots. I am not sure I really enjoyed it when it was age appropriate. I’d much rather wear black yoga pants and a black t-shirt and cat ears or a witch hat. My son, Ben, told me this year he wanted to be an astronaut. Which shocked me, mostly because of the number of syllables in that word and the fact that I had no idea he knew what an astronaut was. See future posts entitled, “Why I Love Mother’s Day Out.” And “What Screen Time Teaches My Children While I Mindlessly Facebook.” Avery is going to be an alien because after 45 min on Pinterest it was available via Amazon Prime.

Candy.

I saw a meme the other day that according to the US government we are really doing our kids a disservice if we don’t take 40% of their candy as “taxes”. I support this. Who am I to keep my kids from learning a valuable lesson? Can I help if primarily Reese’s and Twix are the taxed candy? Nope. I’ll claim it’s random. (spoiler: it’s not.)

Use it as a Holiday Season Bench Mark.

After Halloween it’s completely acceptable to start watching Love Actually on the daily and eating pot pie weekly. I am already looking up recipes for Thanksgiving and have even bought a few Christmas presents. Don’t worry though, the epic (EPIC I tell you) procrastinator that I am will still leave most of the prep until the very last minute. I do love to use my pie dish regularly. Since my body hasn’t worn jeans, at least jeans without lycra in them, consistently in about four years I owe it to my yoga pants to test the seams with some holiday baking. Maybe I’ll get crazy and try a little yoga in them as well. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Anything can happen.

I’m off to Target to replenish the bag of Halloween candy that clearly had a hole in it for our pending trick or treaters. I will be answering the door cauldron in hand with a smile on my face and two costumed little darlings. Until bedtime, that is,  when the porch lights go off and the candy wine pairing experiment begins. Ring the doorbell after that at your own risk.

What do you think of Halloween? Love it or Leave it?

 

A Shout Out to Situational Friends

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Friends Forever. Surely we all had charm bracelets or anklets if you were an eighties babe like me. But most of our friendships probably have an expiration date. It took me a really long time to come around to this concept. In fact, I don’t know that every day I am totally there, but some people are just meant to be situational friends. And that is 100% Okay! God puts people into our lives to teach us a lesson or help us grow in a particular phase. Then when our life, or their’s twists and turns, as lives always do, the friendships fade away. I spent a lot of time mourning the loss of these relationships, instead of doing what I should be doing. Honoring them for the gift that they were and moving the hell on with my life. Here’s some things that have helped me on this imperfect journey:

Situational friends are completely necessary.

Thinking about moving into my college dorm room, riddled with anxiety I needed the friends I made in those years to talk me through bad college relationships (thank thankfully also did not last), bad grades on tests I tried to wing, and all the pressures that came when my non-fully developed frontal lobe thought that college was the “real world.” I don’t keep up with most of my college friends. I think that’s a product of moving back to the middle of the country after going to college in Philadelphia and having most of my friends remain there or in Manhattan after school. Nothing happened really to most of those relationships, just time and distance. I will, never be able to thank those friends enough for being there for me the first time I was on my own.

It is (usually) not my fault.

Things just happen. People move away. People get into serious relationships and shift priorities, interests, or just change themselves entirely. I used to think that any time a relationship dissipated, it was my fault. Was there something wrong with me that I couldn’t manage to keep all of my friends forever? Sure,I have some friends that I have managed to keep around a long time, but why did it seem that more friendships ended than celebrated friendiversaries? The more I talked to other women the more I realized this is a very natural progression in life. I was not unique. Now I’ll be honest, I have my flaws and I’m sure some friendships did end, in fact I know some did, because of things I did. The most important thing in those friendships was to look for the lesson.

And there is always a lesson.

Have you ever been used by a friend? Or someone you thought was a friend? I’m sure we all have. Learning these lessons made me truly value the kind generous people in my life. Unfortunately, the best teacher of this is when I treated someone badly. I joke with my toddler that I’d rather have him get hit at a play date than hit a kid. I know, I know that sounds terrible, hear me out! I handle being gracious, much better than feeling guilty. The lesson is much bigger when we have to face our shortcomings head on and learn from them. Ugh! Personal growth. Its actually the worst. Haha.

The ones that last are gold.

I have a group of friends that have known me since I was fourteen. Acne covered, braces, and awkward fourteen. They saw my first boyfriend dump me and watched me get married. These ladies know me in a way that predates my knowledge of myself. This is amazing and also terrifying. They can call me on things in a way many other friends cannot. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. I say this to make you, dear reader, treasure your long term friendships, but not to deter you from making new ones. Because while these ladies know me historically super well, I see them maybe once a year. Distance, jobs, children, you know life gets in the way. My friends that I am doing motherhood with on a daily basis can tell you what my toddler will eat and where I hide candy from my kids. Are all of these friends lifers or are some of them situational as well? Only time will tell. I think Girl Scouts said it best,

“Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”

I hope you have a life filled with both silver and gold!