I love kids. I think I was born to be a mom. If this body would've allowed, I would've had a huge brood. I grew up in a big family and I thrive in the chaos, the mess, the noise and the laughter. The greatest moments of my life have always involved children...my nieces and nephews, my preschool, kindergarten and first grade students and, of course, the loves of my life, my own babies.
My sisters are older than I am, their first kids were born when I was in middle school. I witnessed firsthand how quickly this ride goes, so when my kids were born, I decided to throw myself all in, and holidays are a perfect example. I knew that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus days would be over in the blink of a few short years, so I always went a little over the top. I always made sure that the most special item on the list was under the tree, but I also tried to find ways to raise the bar and get something totally unexpected. The kids were always thrilled and that was present enough for me.
Of course, as the kids got older, so did their expectations, not in a monetary way, but they asked for crazy things and were sure that their wishes would be granted. I mean, they always had been before, no reason to believe things would stop now!
I still remember the day my 5 year old said she was putting clothes for her Nala (from The Lion King) stuffed animal on her list. She wanted a bathing suit, an evening gown, pajamas. Oh boy. I hunted high and low for something, anything, that would fit Nala and her huge paws, but no luck. I spent hours fashioning those clothes, and I am not an accomplished seamstress, because of course Santa could make it, "right mama?"
I know, I know, self inflicted! I think my funniest holiday crazy was on Easter. My daughter had fallen in love with these Pokémon figures that the pizza shop near us sold for a quarter each. They had a gumball machine full of them. Every time we went in for pizza, my daughter would run to the machine and get one. She was so tiny, her little preschool fingers could barely turn the crank.
So on the night before Easter, my husband and I are cracking open plastic eggs, ready to fill them with candy and I get this fabulous idea. Wouldn't it be really cool to fill the eggs with little Pokémon!?! My daughter would lose her mind! She would be blown away, how would the Easter Bunny even know about the Pokémon?
My husband thought I was nuts, but he knew way better than to fight me. Don't mess with the Sicilian girl on a mission. I gathered my quarters and went to the pizza place and slid in a few minutes before closing.
Ok, so I have mentioned before that I live in a very small town ~ blessing and curse. On that night, the place was filled with guys I went to high school with, none of whom had children, all of whom thought I was completely insane. I sat on the floor, put a quarter in the machine, turned the crank and claimed my prize....like a million times...with a disgruntled audience that wanted to close up shop and hit the bar next door.
The jokes flew, my hands cramped, I kept praying that I didn't get doubles and just as I lifted the little door for the last time, the owner, a friend of my brother's, jingled a set of keys and told me, " You know I have the key to that box, I could've just opened it up and you could've picked them out."
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By the time I got home, my husband was out cold, snoring on the couch. I opened and stuffed all those eggs by myself. I hid every last one on my own and loved every minute of it. I was so giddy, I barely slept.
The next morning when the kids found the eggs, they were excited, but when my daughter opened them and saw the Pokémon, she was over the moon, ecstatic....and so was I.
Those guys don't really tease me about it anymore, most of them have kids now, so they get it ~ but don't worry about them, I've lost a tooth and my underwear in this town...trust me, they still have plenty of material! Happy Easter!
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