Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why Halloween is like a child's version of a wedding.....

First, WOW, its been 4 weeks since I posted which is the longest in-between on record since I started this blog. I took a great new job within my corporation on October 1 so there is the reason. But, what better day to post than Halloween because I like treats and a few tricks here and there. I am working from home today because 1. I can and 2. its the worst traffic day of the year in Atlanta. Why? Because if you have little kids, you have been celebrating some aspect of Halloween for the entire month. Halloween is basically like a child's version of a wedding. There is planning, decorating, orchestrating, parties, invites, wardrobe check, many costume changes, scrutiny over who looks the best, always, always someone in inappropriate attire (grown man in diaper carrying a pacifier for example), so much food, so many sweets, and photos galore. Can we talk about the photos for a moment. I am as guilty of over-photo'ing just like a wedding photog. Seriously, last year we had 100+ photos for 30 minutes of trick-or-treating. Oh, look, there is MiniMac walking to the door. Now there he is climbing the steps. Oh, yeah, there he is ringing the bell! Look, he is smiling at the stranger inside the door! SUPER. I know these times have a limited span but maybe I will trim it down to 75 photos this year.

The only component missing from Halloween is alcohol. Correction, we all know the coffee cups the parents are carrying are filled to the brim w/ grown up elixirs. MiniMac is pretty thrilled to be dressing as Wolverine. Which will be more joyful to look at then the 1000 girls who will dress like Miley Virus this year. I did see that even Paris Hilton dressed up to mock Miley's VMA performance. Guess what? If Paris Hilton is mocking you, your stock has fallen to the curb or what I like to think of as 'your sh*t could not go any further south'.It makes me wish we could bring back Bieber Fever and well, that is a sad, sad statement.

So, we embark on Halloween frenzy and because MiniMac does not by nature consume a lot of candy, he thinks it is a BIG DEAL if he gets two pieces in the same night. HOORAY. He did recently inform me that he 'does not care for' whole wheat pasta so it is not all wins around here.

I am the room parent for his classroom and we are decorating cookies with his entire class today. Do you know how 6 year-olds handle sprinkles? They empty half the container in their hands, pour 1/100th of them on their cookie and the rest end up on 1. their laps 2. the floor. But my word, you show kids an array of containers with sprinkles? Stand back for the cheering. Seriously. It's like grown women and wine. I did clear the cookie bonanza project with the teacher. However, she is a sub while his teacher is on maternity leave, rather elderly and quite stern. This means she has likely never allowed a sprinkle bedecked cookie to be made in her house so she will be quite displeased when she is finding sprinkles in that classroom for the next six weeks. No, no amount of sweeping retrieves them all easily. 

For those celebrating, hope your ghosts and pumpkins have a great time. Last year, one house had a giant bowl of candy for the littles AND a galvanized tub full of beer for the bigs. Genius. I love parents who have a sense of verve. And speaking of verve, I saw this earlier today. Must share:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Give a damn

I just read a snippet in the news that made my morning. A 82-year-old retired man named Anthony Cymerys keeps his skills, wits and love for people intact on the daily by offering haircuts to the homeless people or others who might be in a slump in Hartford, CT. He pops a lawn chair up at Bushnell Park and 'customers' fill park benches waiting for their turn. Price? A hug.

Why was this compelling to me? Because I love stories with good endings. I envision this man as one who holds the door open for others, says hello to strangers, gives a hurried person his place in line. I also like that his courtesy and generosity extend to a population of people that might not be recipients of courtesy and generosity as frequently as other people OR as often as they need it. This story is very simple and it reminded me how easy it is to embrace and execute on the simple concept of giving a damn about others.

I read numerous other tidbits of goodness like 1. a rookie Wildlife officer saves a baby fawn from a river or how a 10-year-old girl opted for donations in lieu of birthday gifts to buy a police dog a bulletproof vest.

And how a dying soldier in NC was surprised by over 40 individuals who showed up to help his family move.

And how Allyson Ahlstrom started Threads for Teens as a 14-year-old and now, at age 18, took her boutique on the road via a giant moving truck. What is the purpose? To give free head-to-toe outfits to teenage girls in need. Awesome. 

So many people are inherently good and one of the components that connects all of these individuals together is that simple concept of giving a damn about others. Every holiday season, we compile a list and then take MiniMac to do acts of service for others. These posts have motivated me to kick that into October this year so we will plan some activities for the week to come. The truth is, we can do kind things everyday.

Go give a damn. Shine your light. I know you will do something great.