Parenting is magical and fun and hard and tedious. A lot of the time, being responsible can be boring. My daughter and I shared a milestone the other day that I completely savored. Its wasn’t one of those usual milestones, I doubt there will ever be a Hallmark card about it. This isn’t the stuff scrapbooking moms commemorate in those impressive memory books. But it makes me smile still thinking about it.
It was the eve of Halloween. Her daycare got into the spirit by placing a large cauldron of candy by the door. Each kid could pick one piece on their way out. Not to be too deep, because it’s just candy, but I always find the whole process of selecting one piece interesting to behold. Some kids stick their fist in and try and make a run for it. Other kids have complete melt downs because they want 2, not 1, and square off in a battle of the wills with the parent. (Then the parent curses the cauldron of candy and both pile exhaustedly into the car and try and make up). It’s not that my cherub is above such emotional displays of displeasure, but this day she went about her task of selecting one piece with careful, intentional concentration. Would she play it safe with the sucker or tootsie roll?
She ventured out. An orange pixie stix. Her very first. I am largely a creature of habit – I ate the same lunch everyday for all four years of high school (sandwich, chips, banana, generic root beer,) – so this decision intrigued me. Probably because deep down, I knew that I would have gone with something safe, I would have plucked up that sucker or tootsie roll.
What we did next makes no sense to the logical, responsible, health conscious mother. But it reminded me that being a mom is a honor, and a treasure, and an invitation to explore and instruct and guide on all matters of life: including how to properly eat a pixie stix.
While others headed home to eat dinner, my daughter and I took up shade under a tree and went through the particulars of eating a pixie stix. How to tear off the top, tilt the head back, and let the sweet sugary goodness reign down. Except pixie stix are tricky for the novice consumer. It is instinctive to try and suck on the top of the paper which thwarts all consumption because the sugar clumps. It can be quite frustrating if you aren’t experienced. Which is why I ended up actually pouring the sugar into her, quite literally down her little throat.
Shortly thereafter, the fun moment naturally ended. I was back to the necessary verbatim of “using please and thank you, flushing the toilet, washing your hands, and why we don’t run with scissors.” The tedious and the boring, they are needed, and worth it in the long run. We are better parents and our children better people for it.
But pixie stix eating 101 helped me to remember how fun it is to be a mom, and how everyday moments can be milestones too.
Seriously, I can’t wait to introduce this kid to Pop Rocks! 🙂