Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing
"We'll eat you up, we love you so"
-Where the Wild Things Are
Halloween is over. All the costumes have been put away, the decorations are on sale, and the stores, the radio and even I have moved on to preparing for Christmas. I don't do nearly as many creative projects as I used to in Life B.C. - Before Children, but the one thing I always do is make my kids' Halloween costumes. I used to get to pick. I picked a wood sprite, winged dragon, golden snitch and Hedwig the owl, bumble bee and spiders. But now the kids get to pick. They've chosen characters from our favorite books, a unicorn and PEANUT BUTTER (THAT was a test of my creativity, for sure). I love what their costume choices say about them and what they are interested in. I love that they come up with an idea and it's my job to make it a reality for them. And I love that it's something I can do for them even though they don't realize yet how much work it is.
When I used to dream of having kids, I imagined a tribe of pink tutu-wearing little girls playing with Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids. I imagined reading Ramona and Judy Blume and Sweet Valley everything. I pictured ... you know, a whole bunch of Mini Mes. Instead I have a tribe of little boys. Loud, active, dirty, sometimes smelly, potty joke-telling boys. They are wild things. And they do wild things, and they love to read about rockets and monsters and dogs and dragons and other wild boy things.
For my first son's first birthday, we asked people to bring books instead of cards. My husband picked the Chronicles of Narnia, I chose a giant book about ballparks. Each of our friends brought books that they enjoyed reading either as kids or to their own kids. We've read most of them, we treasure all of them. My longtime girlfriend, we've been friends since high school (talk about wild things...), brought the kid classic Where the Wild Things Are. My oldest never really connected with the story of a rambunctious little boy who climbs into his own boat and sails away from his bedroom to lands unknown to become king of the Wild Things. He preferred to read about a monster that wasn't scary and about dragons that love tacos but not hot sauce. But my middle son, he LOVED the story of Max from the very first time we read it. He really got into roaring his terrible roar and gnashing his terrible teeth. He loved those big scary Wild Things and was sure that if he ever went on that journey, he, too would be the king. And even now, years after that first reading of this classic children's tale, he picks it when it's his turn to choose the bedtime story.
As a way to spend some fun mommy-son time, I took my little wild thing on his own Max adventure. He found a big tree dropping apples and another shedding "icky sticky pears." He played in light patches and shadows. He tried to pick leaves off a branch that arched over his head just out of his itty bitty reach, even when he jumped his biggest and highest jump. He asked numerous people if he could "please pet your dog." He threw leaves and watched them hit the water and travel down a little irrigation ditch out of sight. He picked up sticks and used them to dig a hole. He stomped and knelt and rolled in the dirt. And then when his little lips were turning purple and his little hands were like ice, and I told him it was time to go home, he asked if he could pee on a tree because "I really really have to go potty." And I let him.
My little "Max" won't always be little and wild. His life will take him on many adventures, but hopefully, like the character that he loves, when he gets lonely, he will always get back in his little boat and "sail back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day" back to the someones who love him best of all, and we'll have supper waiting for him ... and it'll still be hot.
To see the entire Where the Wild Things Are photo session, click here.
Sooooo precious! (both the photos and writing) And you may not be doing as many creative project as B.C., but the ones that you're doing are more important. From modeling creativity for the kids, and helping them fulfill those imaginations, to having your own creative business, you're an absolutely awesome mother.
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