Do the Monster Mash

In case you wondered why I am not a craft blogger...this is what I make when presented with all the necessary tools and detailed instructions. Yowza.

I should be posting my next installment in my Call to Womanhood series today. It is nearly finished and I meant to dedicate a late night to it yesterday. But then I spent an hour reading about fashion gossip and fell asleep by ten. Not my best use of time, but not my worst either. Maybe sometimes womanhood is deciding to not do the things we are supposed to be doing? In which case this lack of a womanhood post is in actuality a post of womanhood? (Are you buying that? Me, neither.) In either case, the next post in the series will be up on Monday. Cross my fingers, hope to die.

A few weeks ago, Riley and I wondered through the mall with the girls on a rainy Monday. We let them play on the indoor tree fort and ate Chick-fil-A in crowded food court. (By the by, my love of that establishment is well documented. But a few months ago I came down with the stomach flu just hours after eating one of their sandwiches. I haven’t been able to touch one since. One of the true shames of my life. Sigh. Luckily, they now have delicious salads. Hello, Asian Chicken! How are you doing? I LOVE YOU.) During our mall wanderings, Margaret our resident observer, had a question for every sign we passed.

“Mommy! What is that word next to the star?”

“Macy’s.”

“Well, then why do they have a picture of a star? They should call it Stary’s.”

“Mommy!”, she points to a Victoria’s Secret Angel, “Why does that girl in the window look so sad?”

“Oh! Sad? Hmmm. You know, I bet she is hungry.”

“Someone should bring her Chick-fil-A.”

“Indeed.”

“OH! MOMMY! Look! Monsters, Inc! What is it? Do you see them? What does it say?”

“They are having a Monsters University party here before the movie opens. Would you like to go?”

“Oh, yes! VERY MUCH!”

For next two weeks she invited everyone we met to THE MONSTERS UNVERSARARY SCREAM PARTY! DO YOU WANT TO GO? (No one did.) She woke up every morning asking if it was the party day. Yesterday, the answer was finally, yes.

We got to the mall when the party was already in full swing. It was…underwhelming. Margaret’s eyes raced ahead of our footsteps and her first exclamation was,

“Where the heck are all of the balloons?”

The hall was full of parents and children, crowding a DJ booth from a local radio station. The decorations consisted of three little monster stickers on the wall. In one corner there was a table with free posters. In the other was a table where you could make a pennant of glue, paper and pencil. It was about what I was expecting, she, however, had a grander vision. You know, characters, bounce houses, cake and ice cream, balloons. You know, a party.

I tried to make the best of disappointed hopes. We made a pennant while sitting crouched on the strollers. Viola danced in her seat while Margaret watched while I cut and glued.

“All done! How does it look?”

“You tried really hard mommy! It looks nice.”

Nice.

We edged toward the DJ booth and mass of people. The parents had formed a circle and their children were competing in games and dance offs for tickets to the movie. Dozens of sweaty, round cheeked kids flailing their arms to Taylor Swift jams, hoping the DJ would call out to them at the end of the song. This was serious business and when THE GIRL IN THE PINK SHIRT won the first round every other kid looked dejected. It was hilarious and pathetic and a little smelly.

Margaret watched with me and looked worried. She thought I was going to make her chicken dance her way into the movie. When I told her we would buy tickets with money rather than her sweat, she smiled and then looked around.

“Well, let’s go, then.”

In the car she tried to make the best of it. We had driven to the mall for her and I think she was worried about hurting my feelings.

“Hey, Margaret. I actually think that party was pretty lame.”

“Really?? Me, too!”

“Yeah, no cake or characters? What was that about?”

She grinned and we spent the drive home talking about the kind of monster party we would throw.

I know it seems like such a little thing, but I have spent most of my life afraid to say the things I think, the disappointments I have felt. And I am absolutely terrified of letting anyone down by giving them less of a reaction than they hoped to have from me. About anything. I will give my daughters so many things, but I don’t want to give them that. It is an exhausting, disingenuous flaw I have struggled to let go of and if possible, I would never have them wrap their tiny fingers around it.

It’s okay, once in awhile, to be upset that there were no balloons.