*Author's Note: this post was penned on a day when my children and I have experienced Halloween hangover, which is ironic since none of us drink. You know what I mean. Just keep this in mind as you commence reading.*
Yesterday reminded me that holidays are for normal families.
We (my decidedly not-typical family) tend to tool along moderately well most of the time with our daily routines specific to each of the boys. But throw a holiday at us with cultural and familial expectations, as well as a whole lot of breaking with those life-saving routines, and you know what happens?
This happens: my family life is like a satellite, while holiday traditions and expectations are like the earth. We cruise along relatively peacefully until we attempt to approach and engage in the holiday, and then we burn up entering the atmosphere.
I do not recall with fondness the irritating and storied history of my children behaving poorly at holiday events, such as:
--The Christmas Model Train Show where young Henry became a horrific spectacle when mom and dad didn't buy him the $2000.00 antique Lionel locomotive he yearned for, and where toddler Jack proved to all the old guy train aficionados who run these gigs that he truly didn't understand NOT touching the train displays.
--An unpleasant string of visits each October to a local Fall Festival which features bouncy castles and giant trampolines, where we struggle loudly and publicly with waiting in line, taking turns, moving on placidly when our turn ends, and coping with crowds.
--The Thanksgiving dinners in our home where our guests have sat awkwardly alone at the table while Jeff and I each addressed different tantruming children.
Halloween used to be sort of a scary day for Jack, but not for the obvious "spooky" reasons. He was terrified of wearing a costume all day at school, parading around the school for crowds of people to eye, and trick-or-treating.
For the first time this year, Jack decided that wearing a costume wasn't all bad. He left it on for almost the entire dance party at school. He also peacefully ignored the trick-or-treaters who graced our porch, in favor of doing puzzles on his ipad and munching on fun size candy bars while curled up on the couch. This is the good news.
This is the bad: Charlie took over as the kid who wouldn't wear a costume, wouldn't march in his preschool costume parade, and wouldn't trick-or-treat.
Maybe it's my fault for perpetually trying to make the holiday "normal," when we just aren't.