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Reindeers & aliens

In first grade, my class dressed up as reindeers and did aerobics for the school’s Christmas show. Dressing up was bad enough for me; I did the bare minimum workout, and totally sat out the neck rolls, despite glares from the adults in my life. 

I’d decided that getting in trouble was better than doing all that ridiculousness.

Last night, at a weekend Cub Scout event, my eight-year-old was expected to don a costume with the other members of his pack. He wailed and railed against it. He said he’d rather not have candy than gain it by wearing “the stupid costume hat.”

Even when he did finally put it on, he sulked in our tent for a full ten minutes. After he emerged from the tent, he continued to sulk–mightily–straight through photos and the beginning of trick-or-treating. 

He eventually decided that candy was worth wearing the hat, but I’m kinda glad it took him a little while to get there. His obstinacy tickled me, bringing me to imagine my mom was right there with us. 

I envisioned her laughing with my husband and saying, “I didn’t hold it against her. I told her she’d get her own taste of it someday, and here she is! Here she is.”

Thus were Christmas then and Halloween now woven together … and my mom, gone in body for more than seven years now, no less powerful a presence in her reluctant reindeer’s heart.

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  1. October 22, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Ha! It was 7th grade? 8th grade? I was a probationary member of Rainbow Girls, getting ready for my induction into the group, which pleased my Eastern Star mother no end. I rather liked the white dress that she made for me to wear — it was dotted Swiss. Who sees dotted Swiss any more. But I’d about had it with the secret handshakes, the passwords, the marching around for no apparent reason. None of that was worth the white dress.

    So, I said, “No. I’m not joining. I don’t want to be part of the group.” You can’t even imagine the battle — but for the first time in my life, I prevailed. Funny how your costume story raised that “costume” story.

    • October 22, 2017 at 6:16 am

      Aaaah! Thank you for sharing this! It made me smile for how it relates to another post I almost (but didn’t) end up linking here.

      I joined a sorority specifically because I knew it would so aggravate my mom. This leaves me wondering: What might a conversation between our moms have looked like?!

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