Thursday, December 10, 2015

Magical Motherhood

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Being a mom is full of routines. Some helpful, some boring and some I just want to hold onto forever. Ordinary moments like morning drop off. Without fail, Natalie gives me a hug and a kiss, tells me she loves me then just as she's stepping out of the car will turn to ask, "Can you have lunch with me today?"

Because she's nine now and often reminds me she's almost a teenager I try not to take for granted her desire to still have me close by.

Last weekend we hosted a belated birthday party for her -- a homemade variety.  Every year I think this is the last one -- surely she and her friends are too old to enjoy my DIY party games and crafts. She wanted a mythical creature theme.  Actually, I think she just wanted another excuse to dress up in her Halloween costume.

Me: "Mythical creature theme?"
Nat: "Yeah! Everyone can dress up as one for my party."
Me: "Honey, I'm pretty you are the only one with a mythical creature costume hanging in your closet."

She was not deterred.

I began watching DIY videos on youtube.  I was introduced to Sculpey clay and got reacquainted with paper mache so I could transform a dozen of her friends into horned and winged things. Thank goodness for Dollar Tree. I found wings, colored hair spray and neon wigs, but the most popular request turned out to be having third eyes painted on their foreheads.

We played "guess what's in the box".  I labeled the boxes - unicorn horns, troll toenails and griffin talons and challenged them to figure out what really lurked inside the boxes.  I created a unicorn horn ring toss game from poster board, tape and pipe cleaners (which will be recycled into "icicle ring toss" at Nat's winter classroom party). We played truth or dare, pass the eyeball, had pool noodle unicorn relays and decorated cupcakes.  At the end I read them the story 12 Dancing Unicorns by Alissa Heyman. As I began reading I held my breath a bit -- waiting for someone to protest that the book was too silly or they were too old for story time.  However, a few sentences in I realized my voice was the only sound heard as the kids leaned in horns and all to hear what happened next.

The party was a success, but more than that it showed me kids don't need fancy to have fun.  Pretend play is completely under-rated and can be enjoyed way beyond the preschool years.

Party invites: Nat created the cover

Back side:
You're invited to Imagine Nation
To celebrate a big sensation
Nine years ago a magical girl was born
Since that time we're never forlorn
Steve was a doorknocker and "woke up" to greet guests.
One kid jumped nearly 10 feet.
He went to work on Monday with a residual glow.
Transformation station

Guess what's in the box: Troll toenails?  Eww! (actually banana chips)
For unicorn horns I used dog treat sticks and griffin talons were just candy corn

Look into my eyes

Pass the eyeball, please.
Pool noodle unicorns made by my talented friend, Michelle.
Cupcake decorating

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