Thursday, October 25, 2012


I am. Up alone, catching pre-halloween Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic. It's sad. Me and the movie.

Tonight my boys school had a Halloween dance. It's ridiculous and hilarious and so so cute.

My Seth loves this. He has all the moves, not missing a beat in the middle of the dance floor.

Well, at least he used to.

But this year, this year he's seven and a half.

And then, you're almost eight. That age where you start to notice what other people think of you.

And that makes you feel like you can't leave it all out there on the dance floor.

It breaks my heart a little. Seeing part of their amazing-ness dull a bit. Because other people might shun you.

I've read that our monkey roots made that very strong feeling happen. Because if the other monkeys shunned you, you would be alone. And without the group, you would actually die.

It feels like that is still true sometimes, that you would die if this person didn't like you. And never more than as a kid and a teen. Do you remember?

Eventually, you out-evolve that feeling. Well. Mostly. But I hate watching my kids deal with it. Squashing their individuality and delightfulness, on purpose, in the meantime.

We made their Halloween costumes this year. And they turned out awesome. So cute. A ninja and a knight. Seth's armor used up a LOT of duct tape.

I like homemade costumes because I find they usually turn out the best. You know when you look around a Halloween party and the best costumes are homemade. Often clever, funny, thought out. Unique, like a good piece of art. A found object marvel. The creativity is why I love Halloween.

But in a kids eyes, you can be super proud of your costume, as my boys are this year, but it's not good until it's passed the kid test. The 'is it good enough to be worth being different' test.

They did. Mostly well received. Their friends loved their handmade swords.

Until I overheard a conversation with Seth and one of his buddies.

"Why is your costume made out of cardboard?"

Said ever so innocently by the kid who meant no offense and had just never thought of why you would ever make a costume.

But, to me, Seth was thinking "Because mom said costumes are expensive", all of the sudden devaluing his costume. I instantly wished I had also mentioned all the other reasons I love handmade and feel store bought is for my too busy last minute Halloween years. That consumerism is a problem for our Earth. That the process is the most fun part, that I like to share making with them, that they learn great skills doing it. That I feel good spending the time with them. That when I stick them in a store bought costume it becomes this symbol that I can't seem to give them enough of my time.

Well no, that last one I would keep to myself. That's just a bit of my own crazy he doesn't need.

Mothering makes me cry.


  1. Oh Victoria... I know this feeling. Right down to the Halloween costume part. This is the first year in a while that I am making costumes for/ with my kiddos. It is something that I obsess about every year and you are so right, it is a symbol of that time that you can or can't give. I'd pass you a hankie if I could.

    Mine are damp too though, with the everyday things. At our house, it is the first real instance of bullying... nothing too horrible, but one never wants to start down that path.
    Take good care of your Mama self and your brood too!

  2. I am totally in awe of this blogpost as you've captured a lot of my recent mothering feelings... My oldest child has hit the "8 mark" and I don't like it. A co-worker and I were just discussing how for the first time ever, we would like to put the protective bubble on our child. Being 8 seemed to change it all... in all the ways you've just described. And now you have the guilt of knowing that the child understands the expense of life, treats and unfortunately, the expense of being different. It's the little things, like rubber boots -- will wear at home but definately not to school. The peer acceptance level has just been added to every decision... why can't kids make decisions based on reasoning?
    It is one tough job to be a Mama in this time... we can only do our best. And you are doing a great job with your little ducklings! :-)

  3. Thanks you two, it's so nice to hear there's others on the same page! My friend is a montessori teacher, and she mentioned the other day how montessori recognizes 8 as a big year for a child. I was amazed to hear her take on it, about how it's their entering the world and becoming an individual year. Just bittersweet to watch from a mama's perspective.

  4. When you mentioned about Seth dancing, I just thought of how his uncle Drew can throw down on the dance floor with the best of them.


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