As another mom I know would say, I took one for the team last week when I brought Henry back to school for the K-8 Halloween Party. Remember how difficult Friday evenings are around here? And here? It's true--most people want to bury their heads in the sand on Monday morning but for me, it's Friday night. I think I run out of energy shortly after lunch and it's all down hill from there. The last thing I want to do on the last day of the work week is spend the evening in public being social and encouraging my children to do the same. But sometimes there's just no way to avoid it.
Henry's school was having a Halloween Fun Fair. The PTO organized it and was counting on a good turnout. They do amazing work raising funds for the school. Not only did I need to do my part, I wanted to as well. Except, why did it have to be on a Friday night? Sunday afternoons are good. So are Tuesday evenings. No one asked me. (Probably because I don't attend the regularly scheduled PTO meetings.)
In my defense, the day before had been a long one. Thirteen hours in my classroom on account of parent conferences. A quick trip home to kiss the boys and change clothes and I was back at my desk Friday morning, less than 12 hours after I had left. I really, really wasn't in a party mood. Especially since I had to wait until 6 pm for the fright fest to begin.
I picked up Liam first for a change and we collected Henry at 4:30. Now what? It's 30 minutes, at least to get back home; so we went and had a "snack" at a nearby KFC. I can't remember the last time I ate there. Clearly it's been a while, if ever, since Henry has had their chicken. "LOOK! There's juice inside!" he exclaimed. I'm not sure that says much about my cooking. We'll leave that for another post.
The boys slipped their costumes on right over their clothes while I found a parking spot in front of the school. We hurried inside because a) it was getting chilly and b) I wanted to get this party
It was crowded downstairs but I saw a few familiar faces. I don't know many people at his school because as a working mom, I'm not there at pick-up time or volunteering in the classrooms. We are not members of the church or its denomination, either. In years past, these facts would have made me feel horribly uncomfortable--like a complete outsider at social events like this. Now I just think, it is what it is. Henry fits in just fine* I want Henry to go to this school and "they" still want him there. That's all that really matters.
Liam loves a good party. He doesn't have a shy bone in his body. I was glad he met the kindergarten teacher that night. I REALLY want him to be in her class next year. I could tell by the way she was talking with him that so does she. (Yay!)
We stayed for an hour and a half. I spent lots of money on game tickets and concessions. The boys won a bunch of candy and drank Orange Crush. I'm pretty sure they thought they'd won the Powerball Lottery. Liam jumped on a trampoline. Henry worked up the nerve to walk into the Mad Science Lab. (It's just dry ice and Jell-o, Mom)
Yes, the evening took me out of my comfort zone but it was well worth it. We came, saw and were seen. Henry was able to participate in his first extracurricular event but more importantly, we shared this night as a family--that makes everything a little less scary.
*I know things may change as he gets older as differences start to matter to him and his peers. But for now, I've decided not to trouble trouble til trouble troubles us.