Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Haunting

Boy Sundae
If you're here because this title sounded like a fun Halloweeny, crafting post, I'm going to level with you: Halloween is not involved, although there is some reference to crafting and definitely some haunting to be discussed.

Still here? OK, you've been warned. 

A few years ago when I was young and ambitious, I decided that, despite having no real crafting skill or history, I would try to make a Halloween costume for Ben. It turned out great, and inflated me with a sense that, with enough determination, Internet access and hot glue gun sticks, I could create anything. 

Today, my novel is stuck at 47,000 words. Why is my novel stuck? Because this is Ben's birthday month. Normally not a big deal. But when I asked him where he's like to have his party this year--the bowling alley, the driving range, the gym--he said "at home". I admit I had become one of those parents who throws money at a venue and bakes a cake, letting the birthday decorations, entertainment, food and cleanup be taken care of by someone else. Let's face it: it's easy, it's painless and the kids still have a great time.

But for the last two years, Ben has watched me go a bit over the top for his older brother's birthday parties (at home, where the teenagers could be supervised), planning James Bond- and ComicCon-themed parties, games, invitations, decorations, prizes and even food. And yes, it was lots of fun and the kids all loved it. But it was so much work that one per year was enough. In fact, this year I sent Jacob to the *real* ComicCon in NYC, swept the dust off my hands and called it a birthday. I figured I was off the hook for good. 

So when Ben decided he wanted a Minecraft-themed party at home for the first time in...ever, after what I had done for his brother, I couldn't very well say no. Thus, for the last week, and for the next several days, my schedule looks something like this:

print Minecraft Creeper faces onto t-shirt iron-on paper 
iron them onto green t-shirts
hot glue 12 glitter, shiny "item" boxes to hide for an item hunt
create a Minecraft-themed punch box where kids can punch through a hole in the box and get a prize
print Minecraft food labels
blow up "Enderman" balloons for a "Kill the Endermen" game
make a Ghast pinata
wrap up licorice "TNT"
burn CDs with Minecraft song parodies for goody bags
create Creeper faces to hang for a "shoot the Creeper" contest
bake meringue "bone" cookies
print Minecraft pig faces and attach to pink goody bags
bake square "dirt blocks" with green frosting "grass"

and the list goes on. 

In a way, this is all happening because I am now haunted by that first decision to make a Halloween costume, and the subsequent swell of pride that something worthwhile came out of it. But in truth, I know these parties mean a lot more to my kids than the ones at the bowling alleys and driving ranges. The boys will remember them forever because they feel extra special. Yes, they require a boatload of time, effort and planning. But my legacy as a mom will be one of making super birthday parties for my kids while they were young. I know because I'll be reminding them of it for the rest of their lives.

1 comment:

Jill Hannah Anderson said...

Wow, I LOVE your website - so cool, informative, and it looks like you've put a lot of time and effort into it!!! Very nice :)