Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lessons Learned (and a *little* bit of soapbox standing)

On occasion, I find myself having light bulb moments, one right after the other. Those days are mildly exhausting. Today, those "aha!" moments have revolved around my child and Halloween.  Some moments dealt directly with her, while the remaining moments were more closely tied with the individuals we came into contact with today. Sometimes, the "aha!" moments were more of a moment when life came into crystal clear focus, and I couldn't figure out why others didn't seem to see the same things that I was seeing. I'm going to start with the outside and work my way in.

1) If you are taking your child trick-or-treating, and your child is obviously less than 6 months old, please note that the rest of us are not fooled. You are really getting candy for yourself and are a little pathetic. I totally get the desire to dress your kid up in the sickeningly cute insect costume (bumblebees and ladybugs seem to be the favorites- I'd love to see a praying mantis), but why are you pushing in front of age appropriate trick-or-treaters to get "your child's fair share"? Really?

2) It really shouldn't be shocking that my child's trick-or-treat bag is small. She's small. Her candy is not for me, unless she chooses to share it. So many people were surprised that she wasn't carrying around the ten gallon buckets that everyone else was. Well, there really wasn't a reason for her to have one that big. I could not even wrap my head around the idea of letting her attempt to eat that much junk food.

3) When the time comes to teach Ardis to sew on her child-sized sewing machine, we are totally starting with felt! While making the vest portion of her costume frustrated me, sewing the felt itself was super easy and way too much fun. I have tons of ideas for things to make and do now. The biggest hiccup was getting my brain to invert things in that weird way you have to in order to have the seams in the right places. I blame it all on pregnancy and exhaustion. ha.

4) The biggest lesson of the day is simply understanding that Ardis's wants are not always as complicated as I make them. It wasn't until we got the vest and wings on her that I realized- she was BEYOND excited to be an owl. It didn't matter that a few seams were sewn crooked (or at a slight diagonal). It didn't matter that she didn't have a mask. It didn't matter that her costume was homemade.  It did matter that I'd taken the time to listen to her and try to give her what she wanted--and what she wanted was owl wings.  Her imagination was more than capable of making up for anything I felt my skills lacked. I'm sure that some of this will change over time as she becomes more inundated by society- and its "expectations". Those expectations are where I kept getting trapped and frustrated and feeling disheartened. I do hope that if I continue to recognize the strings and restrictions that those expectations have placed on me that I will be able to continue to follow her lead and think outside of the proverbial box.

The Owlet

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