A few posts ago, I mentioned being stuck between a rock and a hard place. I was involuntarily volunteered to be homeroom mom for Joe's first grade class. My first task at hand...the Harvest Party! Now, even though fall starts in September and the class party is held the Friday before Halloween, please do not confuse it with a Halloween celebration. That mistake is frowned upon. Halloween is strictly taboo now-a-days in most public schools.
At Open House, I overheard 2 moms chatting about the said Harvest Party and wouldn't it be great to do the same craft again this year? Ya know, the canvas Trick-or-Treat bags that the kids can decorate themselves to take out on Halloween? Huh. I distinctly remember this craft from the year before...because at the playground after school a mom was outraged at the Halloween-ness of the craft! I mean, yelling and grabbing it away from her kid outraged. Great. Also, during Open House, another mom shared with me that they do not celebrate Halloween. We don't celebrate it at our house, either, but I'm not willing to shed blood over a craft...
Visions of confrontation danced through my head! My anxiety was mounting as the days ticked by. How do I tell these two friends that we can't do their craft? What if they get mad at me? What if they shun me? Okay, I don't really care about the shunning part...in fact, I kinda welcome it...but that's a different story. The easy answer is that it goes against school policy and a letter was sent home clearly stating the anti-Halloween guidelines. But still. Awkward. They don't know me...they've been friends for at least a year now. Who do I think I am, telling them they can't do their craft? They did it last year. What's the big deal? See how I built this up in my head?
One of the "bag" moms cut me off at the pass by sending out an email before I could even call her! My pulse went up as I read her suggestion of the bags and didn't I think it was a good idea? And she would be happy to get all the supplies for it. So there it was. The gauntlet was thrown. I had to respond. Time to man up. I replied that the president of the PTO suggested a sweet craft. A photo frame with a leaf shaped opening, and foam leaves to glue all over. She even went into the classroom and took a picture of each kid and had them developed.
Then I waited for the bomb to drop. I was expecting angry hate mail, dirty looks in the hallway....her reply was....."Sound great! Thanks for taking care of it!" Huh? It's going to be that easy? No resentment? No indignation? No writing nasty thing about me in a "slam book"?
Yeah, that was it. Turns out, they're really nice moms that just wanted a nice party for their kids. Me too, moms, me too.
The kids had fun decorating their craft, enjoying (peanut free!) snacks, and playing a game involving 2 pounds of candy corn to win (non-Halloween related) prizes and taking home monstrous bags of treats. Glad that's over!
Now, can we talk about why Joe's classroom has to be kept at 99 degrees at all times?