Yesterday I woke up at 4:30 and couldn’t sleep. I would like to say it was because I love halloween and I was so excited, but really folks, women of a certain age just don’t sleep all that regularly.
Usually I would lie in bed and just chill, but yesterday I decided to get up and bake the Funfetti Halloween cupcakes instead, because… well, because if I did not bake them then I would have to wait a whole year. (Funfetti is sort of a religion in these parts)
As I was making coffee and taking on this ridiculous task for no apparent reason, I realized that was the whole point. I was baking Halloween Funfetti cupcakes at 5AM… because I didn’t HAVE to. For so very many years – as a working mom – I found myself baking some ridiculous confection in the wee hours of the morning (the cowboy hat cupcakes at 2AM when Jana was in 4th grade come to mind. btw, these are cool, involving a cookie, an upside down cupcake and string licorice). But now, I was doing it because I wanted to, not to prove that I could do it all.
As I waited for the timer to go off, I sat drinking a cup of coffee while the sun came up and the household began to stir and got more than a little nostalgic about Halloween with younger kids. I have never been one to pine away for the past stages of parenting; but yesterday morning, in the quiet of my kitchen I could not help but remember the sweet chaos of those days. Did I fully appreciate them wile they were happening? I like to think so. But in reality I am sure they were tempered with the rushed obsession to make it all the perfect halloween for the kids and maybe I did not savor it as much as I should have.
I have this thing about the seasons; I wish we could have just one day of beautiful summer beach weather in the middle of the winter and one crisp snowy day in the middle of a heatwave in the summer. Just one day. That’s not asking too much. I feel the same way about parenting now. Yesterday morning, as I was sprinkling the ‘fetti’ on the top of those cupcakes, I wished for just one day with ‘Little Danny‘ and ‘Little Jana‘, as they like to refer to their childhood selves.
Even the year when the little guy insisted on being a cowboy and I stayed up all night making his costume for him to wake up on Halloween and tell me ‘I want to be a Ninja like Dougie’.
I suppose the imperfections of raising kids are what makes parenting so perfect.
(BTW, ‘Big Danny’, since I tortured your dad that we did not have enough candy, you and the boys will be the happy recipients of a big box of candy… watch the package room for it.)