With great pride, I pointed to the giant lollipop I constructed from a cement mold, an exercise ball, a shower curtain, ribbon, safety pins, and hot glue (all of which I had on hand.) My mother-in-law looked both impressed and perplexed.
“This is for a play date?”
Ok, I shouldn’t have called it a play date. It may have started as a play date idea, but it became a full blown party. I was playing Candyland with Liam and Kellen one afternoon. Liam remarked “it would be cool if we could make Candyland and actually BE the pieces going to each place.” That would be cool! The ideas began to bubble in my head, and before I knew it, I had a five and a half foot lollipop in my living room, and twenty kids on board to play.
Why do I do these things? It was a lot of work. There was no out and out reason for it, like a birthday or Halloween.
My go-to answer is that it is FUN! I got to MAKE Candyland. How awesome is that? My boys seem to be racing through childhood at breakneck speed. My days of playing Candyland, much less building it, are numbered. Gotta take the opportunity when it presents itself.
I thought a little more about it. Yes, activities like this are a blast. More than that, I hope I am instilling a belief that my boys can make their ideas reality. This concept has become a bit of a monster, as my boys think I can pretty much make anything so long as I have the supplies in my craft closet. Today, Liam was so proud of himself when I reminded him of the initial idea for life-sized Candyland- HIS idea.
The moms and kids that came over today were comprised of two groups- families I met when my kids were babies and I needed support, and families I met when my son started school and I needed support. These are literally the women who helped me survive those life changes. On afternoons when I thought “I can’t do this mommy thing” they were there to host play dates, have lunch, meet at the park, or send a kind email. They are my community.
Our kids are older now. They are attending different schools and day cares. I used to see these women almost every afternoon. Now, I am lucky to meet with some of them once every few months. But the community is still there, the support via emails and phone calls.
The party today was a thank you for all the times these women have been there for me. But it was also a promise- that as our lives diverge down different paths, we will have special occasions to reconnect and continue to know each other. The dream is that I’ll host a gathering like this someday when they go to college- maybe not Candyland theme. Maybe so?
Sometimes, you just have to throw caution to the wind and do something crazy- like inviting twenty kids to your house to eat as much candy as they can handle. Even if I don’t get invited to their eighteenth birthday parties, hopefully they’ll remember Miss Kat and that her house was the place to be. Ok, I’m buying their fond memories with candy- but I had to mop the floor after constructing candy houses from frosting, grahams crackers and more candy than you’ve ever laid eyes on. There is a price to be paid for being loved.