I’m not sure how the conversation started, but somehow the discussion of Halloween and costumes made its way to our breakfast table this morning. It is only August, but in years past my children begin talking about what they are going to “be” for Halloween about this time each year. My daughter jumped up and exclaimed, “I know EXACTLY what I am going to be this year– a pink COWGIRL!” She has a cowgirl outfit her aunt and uncle gave her a few years ago for Christmas that she continues to love. Thankfully, it was rather large when she received it. She immediately left the table and ran upstairs to try on the costume. “The only thing I am missing is the pink cowgirl boots, Mom!” I looked up and saw her in full cowgirl regalia, including a pink stick horse. I do have to admit that the outfit is bordering on being a little small, but seeing the glee on her face when she came galloping in was too much for me. A longer white shirt and tights will make it work just fine. Now I am crossing my fingers for a great shipment of pink cowgirl boots to arrive at Target in the coming weeks for the final touch.
I asked my son what he wanted to dress up as for Halloween. Looking up from his bowl of cereal, my son said, “I have absolutely no idea.” My daughter chimed in and said he should be a cowboy to match her. I agreed with her and said that would be really cute for the two of them to coordinate. Admittedly, I knew what was coming next, and I wasn’t disappointed. My son replied with a huge sigh and eye roll, “I don’t think so, Mom!”
I actually was digging for that sigh and eye roll. I haven’t been the recipient of them in over a week, and I missed them. My son just came home from a full week away at camp. His first week away from home without us. He had an awesome time and can’t wait to go again next year. It seemed strange without him around the house, and definitely a lot quieter. My daughter missed him terribly, and had several crying jags during his time away. She sent him emails several times, and hoped each day to receive a postcard from him. I had addressed and stamped six postcards for him to quickly scribble a few lines to us, but somehow they never made it to our home. He said he wrote one, but couldn’t figure out where to put them to be mailed until the last day. He said his counselor never told them where to mail things. Hmmm… good try son.
Yesterday as my daughter and I pulled into the garage, seeing that my husband and son had arrived home, she exclaimed, “Mom, I am going to give him the biggest hug EVER and never let go!” A sweet reunion, my daughter hugging her brother as tight as she could and he actually returning the embrace. She asked him lots of questions and wanted to know all about camp. Then he then told her he had a surprise for her. Her face lit up. He gave her a little stuffed duck with the name of the camp on it. I was impressed with this since he made this purchase completely on his own with no encouragement from me to do something for her. Proud mommy moment for sure. She was elated and slept with the duck last night.
All that sweetness was short-lived. This morning after breakfast I was starting a load of stinky camp laundry (it smelled like a combination of stale lake water and old peanut butter) when I heard screams from both children coming from the family room. I walked in to see my son laying on the floor saying that his sister pushed him hard off of the sofa, and she screamed that he kept hitting her and wouldn’t get out of her barn (she was still in her cowgirl outfit and had moved into full cowgirl imaginative play). I guess she noticed the puzzled look on my face because she started explaining that the sofa was the barn for her horse and she was in (on) there taking care of him when her mean brother barged in and started hurting her. I asked her if she pushed him hard so he would fall, and she said, “I might have given him a little push.” She isn’t completely innocent, but the truth is, my son is twice as big as my daughter, and I would say it is rare that she ever actually hurts him. He likes to add drama to their scenes. When I realized there was no blood or broken bones, I walked back to my laundry task, assuming that they would work it out. It was still early in the day and I started thinking they had probably missed some good sibling time. Seconds later the yelling resumed. “I am the big bull that doesn’t want your horse in the barn, so get out!” my son said. “You are a mean bull and my horsey is nice, so get outta here,” my daughter replied. This continued and escalated, both of them irritating and aggravating each other, vacillating between role-playing and real life irritating. In some strange way, I felt comforted by their exchanges. I realized I had missed the chaos of their sibling play/arguing this past week, and chose to smile and welcome it back into our home.