So a couple of days ago we went to our first trunk or treat organized by a wonderful mommy group that I am a part of. I was a little overwhelmed because I was not sure what decorating a Trunk entails but it was super easy.
Here is the pic of our trunk:
The one thing I realized when talking to other moms is that everyone agrees that this is a lot of work that all parents put in. Planning and decorating, getting costumes for kids, getting them in the clothes, planning and making or buying a dish to share.
And kids, they don’t care much about the efforts or anything.
Here is how our decoration went. I started putting things up. I said to my older son, “Can you please help me? We will decorate this car and go for a fun event at the park.”
My kid said, “No.” And started asking me a bunch of crazy questions. “Whose party are we going to? Why are we decorating the trunk? Can I eat the candy already? Why should I wear a costume? Can I just wear regular clothes?”
He gave me a tough time getting ready and out of the door that day. At this point, I was wondering why the heck was I even trying. But we went regardless.
The park had their splash pad open, and moms were pulling kids away from there. It stopped being funny when my son ran to it too. I had to distract him with food. But then they did not want to take pics or anything or eat the healthier food that was available before they could eat desserts. No, they just wanted to play in the park.
Everyone enjoyed, though. Then we had a parade and then kids visited everyone’s trunk for a candy treat (or a noncandy one for the ones with allergies).
The kids were on a sugar high eating way too much candy, and it is not even Halloween yet, and I was wondering to myself, Why do we feed our kids candy?? And plan such events full of sugar when we know kids are going to be cranky after?
My children went to another Halloween celebration day after. Today we went to a pumpkin patch. At our house, we are also celebrating Diwali this weekend and my son’s birthday is on the actual Halloween day. We have fun things planned back to back.
Then we also have a birthday party planned in few days. The balloons, the decor, the cake, the food. Kids gather and play and are again super tired, and then we feed them a cake? Why? Why do we do that? An exhausted child becomes cranky but energetic after cake. Maybe they should be fed cake before the party? So they can burn the sugar off?
I remember when I was young, the most people who would be invited to my birthday party were 5 and they would come on their own. There were no parents involved. I can’t believe how I would have reacted though if I lived in those times. How would I ever take care of 5 more children excluding two of mine and feed them sugar? They used to be mostly neighboring kids though so they could walk. I wonder if I can let my son walk to any nearby house on his own ever.
I digress. Now coming back to the point of the article. I think the Zen in throwing parties is in the planning. I take the time to look through and admire the different Pinterest pictures. Then look at designs and sometimes even make a lame attempt to create some beautiful pieces on my own.
I take the time to neatly plan what games we will play, what cake I will order or decorate, what gifts I will give. Then there is the planning and cooking of food, the organizing of our house. Making lists and checking items off and organizing are first and second in line when it comes to calming a crazy mind.
The Zen of the parties also is in meeting adults (finally!) and listening and feeling better that everyone is in a similar boat of life and that I am not alone.
It is in the cleaning up after the party, recounting some fun moments that happened during the party.
And it happens that sometimes we are tired and we do complain after. Especially when everyone is super tired and high on sugar and kids want to keep playing and complaining that it all ended and all you are thinking about is this book, Go The F*** To Sleep
The funny part is that I believe that even if I do complain about tantrums and meltdowns of sugar high, deep down I am satisfied to see the kids enjoying to the fullest and making friends and making memories. Because guess what, the days are long but the years are short!
And in these years we will remember some meltdowns but mostly what we will remember, are these cute faces with smiles and laughter and all happy and entertained.
I think this is what mindfulness is all about. It is about being in the moment and looking for the positive side of life especially in the toughest possible times like this coming Monday when we are going to have sugar fed monsters roaming down streets ringing bells of stranger’s houses.