Halloween Week

(This could also be titled “My Week in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks”, but I already used that double title thing recently.  Ha ha.  Joke’s on you.  I just did it again.)

You know you’ve reached a certain point in parenting when you don’t react the way a “good” parent would.

For example, when your children are playing with potentially minorly dangerous items and instead of thinking:

“Hmmm, I’d better address that right away,”

You actually think,

“Will they really get hurt with that?  Like really hurt?  Or will it just keep them occupied and buy me five more minutes of _____.”

Let me back up, lest you judge me too harshly.

Tuesday night our family ran a few errands.  By the end of the evening, I had a bit of a sore throat. By the middle of the night I had a fever or 101.  By Wednesday morning, My fever was at 102, I had chills, an achy body including a killer throat-ache, and was basically too weak to move further than from one room to the next holding the baby.  Praises to God, Kevin came home from work and took over… well, took over everything.

For the next two days, I was in an on-and-off state of illness.  I’d feel ok for a few hours, and then the fever or sore throat or aches would take over again.  I felt blessed to be homeschooling this week, and that things were well established.  We completed our lessons in the couple hours each day when I felt well.  Other than school and basic nutrition, nothing much got done around our house this week.

Which is all fine and good.  Except it’s not.  A house with all of our recently-delivered furniture, toys,  and clothes needs constant attention.  Last week most of our items, save a few boxes, were put away neatly.  This week they are not put away at all, much less neatly.

And all of that would have been fine and good.  Except that 1 month ago, during the course of our studies, the girls decided they wanted to be St. Elizabeth of Portugal for Halloween.  It helps, of course, that she was a queen and purportedly wore a gorgeous purple cloak.  That is always a big selling factor in the Halloween-costume-decision-process.  A number of reported miracles involve St. Elizabeth and flowers.  (That helps, too.) One story, for example, tells how St. Elizabeth, ever charitable, was giving bread to the poor when her king husband found her.  He thought consorting with beggars below his queenly wife, and demanded to see what was within her cloak.  When she opened it, out came gorgeous roses, in the dead of winter.

So yesterday (Friday), I began to feel a bit better.  Because I am so well-prepared and not at all the type to procrastinate, I decided to brave a trip to the Korean fabric mart.  Oh wait.  Did I forget to mention that we celebrated Halloween tonight?  Saturday October 29?  So I had approximately 30 hours to find the market, locate fabric, cut and sew Halloween costumes.  Plenty of time, right?  Sure, if I wasn’t still sick and I didn’t have 4 young children.

On our way to the market, we got in a minor fender bender.  Awesome.  Chalk it up to my patience and humilty training for the week.  Onward and upward. 

At the market, Seomun Shijang, the kids and I wandered about for over an hour.  We looked in as many nooks and corners, tried as much Korean/English/charades communication as we could.  Finally, we gave in and headed home for lunch, frustrated, disappointed, and fabric-less.

Because I am 2 things, 1) stubborn, and 2) a mom who hates to disappoint her kids, I went back to Seomun Shijang at 6 pm last night.  This time I was armed with 1) the Korean phrasebook I forgot at home earlier, and 2) the phone number of my Korean realtor who offered to translate over the phone if it came to that.  Fortunately, it didn’t.  I found some fabric shops just as they were closing, and quickly purchased the fabric I needed. 

Great.  I had the fabric.  All I needed was the time and energy to complete the costumes.

As you may have noticed, this post is already decidedly long.  I’ll get to the point.  The work was completed, one might say miraculously, using a combination of late-night sewing, Saturday trade-off parenting, and distraction.  I’ll also take this moment to refer to the example of less-than-perfect parenting above and make note that no one did in fact get hurt, and no, I did not continue to let them play with dangerous items… for very long.

I’ll say nothing more, except: the job was done and a wonderful time was had by all.

The two St. Elizabeths of Portugal and one St. Francis of Assissi

The other very sleepy St. Francis.  It’s exhausting being holy!
Happy Halloween and Happy All Saints Day!


  1. Wow, you’re an amazing mom!!! Those costumes turned out spectacularly! Love and prayers