17-ish steps to making great saint’s costumes

As we near all saint’s day, better known by many as the day after Halloween (all hallow’s eve), many busy moms can be found busy sewing saints costumes for their kids. And then there’s me…here’s what my day looked like, broken down in simple steps, in case you’re crazy and want to try it:

  1. Announce to your many munchkins that it is time to pick saints for dressing up.
  2. Listen to flurry of excitment and witness many dresses and scarves being pulled out and tried on.
  3. Pull out scrap material box and fasten on pretty headscarves with hair clips.
  4. Change a diaper and make lunch.
  5. Feed and bathe baby.
  6. Help older kids research saints online.
  7. Help make a harp out of cardboard, tin foil and pipe cleaners.
  8. Clean pee off floor and give toddler a bath.
  9. Try to coach eldest child through anxiety about her future costume’s potential defects due to my lack of sewing expertise. Fail.
  10. Call Grandma for moral support.
  11. Make a second lunch for child who missed it due to researching saints and is currently losing marbles.
  12. Suggest 20 other costume options. Have them rejected.
  13. Feed baby. Try to fashion sheet into nun’s habit. Fail.
  14. Clean baby poop off floor. Bathe baby again.
  15. Listen to eldest child come up with totally new costume idea (using her own, already made clothes) after you already cut a hole in a sheet. Rejoice as it means you don’t have to sew!
  16. Thank God and put in a frozen pizza. Safely stow away costumes in a big bag.
  17. Make silly jokes while you do the dishes and smile cause the madness is over…till next year!

I Want a Power Ranger Suit

The other night, literally as we were eating our Halloween candy, after having dressed up, done a candy hunt in the living room, danced to spooky kids music and painted our faces,
my seven year old daughter asked me, “When is the next holiday?”


That was the sound in my head.
Deep breath.

“Could we please just try to enjoy this moment before thinking about the next one? When I tell you you’ll start asking every day how many more days till…”

“I know, but is it Christmas? How long?”

Since then we have discussed at least three times what she wants for Christmas, as well as spent extensive time planning what to be next Halloween. So far a white cat, a ‘Spy Fairy,’ a princess with a sparkly but not hoopy dress, and a Power Ranger of unspecified colour. She told me with a sly smile on the bus, “Mommy, I want a Power Ranger suit.”

Sometimes I wonder if this it a bit what God feels like, being asked for stuff all the time, with little time for thank you’s in between the demands. Can you imagine the clamor of all our requests throughout the world:

Dear God, please gimme, gimme, gimme, and also why, why, why did you let this happen and not that….

One would imagine, if God were more like us, that it would be the source of an (al) mighty headache. Thank goodness for the infinite patience, mercy and generosity of God. Thank goodness that he loves each one of us, demanding as we are, having had us in his mind and heart from all eternity…as unique creations, singular expressions of his infinite beauty and diversity.

May he open my eyes to see my children with his loving eyes, especially on the days when they want so many things, and object to so many others. I guess it’s important to remember that they ask about the holidays a million times not to drive me crazy (-er) but because for them, the anticipation is half the fun.

There are other times when a sudden sweetness bursts through their busy little selves and makes me smile. The other day after mass I asked my five year old if she wanted to say a prayer together. “Let’s say the one we wrote for Great-Grandma.” It’s a song we wrote for her, to make her feel better in the hospital. We sent it to her with some lollipops. Cause that’s the part about going to the doctor that’s fun.
Here it is:

Love is love, and we love you.
Don’t you know it’s always true.
Don’t give up,
There’s always hope,
And we’ll love you forever.

Then she smiled at me with her big blue eyes and said, “Mommy, a heart is the shape of love.”

Today we stood at the bus stop in the chilly November air, munching some cheese and crackers as we waited. My daughter asked me for a cracker. It was the last one. I gave it to her, and after a brief moment she broke it and held it up, “Want half?” I couldn’t have been happier if she brought me roses. The little things…