Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Halloween Scrooge

The last two weeks have been insanely filled with Halloween.

From my son, "Mom, will we have enough treats for Halloween?"

From the students, "Mrs. Bird, are you coming to the Halloween Carnival?"

From everyone else, "What are you doing for Halloween?"

All the while my insides are cringing while the outside sweetly says, "Yes, we'll have enough treats," "No, I won't be at the Halloween Carnival," "We are just having a nice quiet evening at home on Halloween." Well, maybe not quiet. We are having our annual Bird Family Halloween Party.

They don't call me the Halloween Scrooge for nothin'.

Several years ago I was fed up with messing around with costumes, answering the door every two minutes and buying too much candy or not enough, so I approached the family with, "How about instead of trick or treating, we have a party! We can eat pizza and have a treasure hunt and play games, and you can go to the store and pick out whatever you want for under $5! Doesn't that sound fun?!"

This was the response. "Yeah, that sounds fun!"


"Does this mean we won't be going trick or treating?"

"Yes, it does."

Looks of consternation. "Does this mean we don't get any candy?"


Bright, hopeful eyes look up at me. "We can pick out whatever we want at the store?"

"Yes, if it's under $5."


"Okay," they all say.

And thus began the first annual Bird Family Halloween Party. Since then all the kids, their friends and teachers tell me how much they like the family party and look forward to it every year.

Relief floods over me as we approach the sixth annual BFHP. No costumes, no trick or treaters, no hassle, just some relaxing family time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Future for Tomorrow

I was very moved by a book I recently read. I found myself wanting to get back to the book to continue following her journey. I was captivated from the beginning as I read the e-mail I received from Tristi asking me to read it. A smile spread across my face when I received a copy in the mail and I anticipated the moment I would be able to start reading.
A Future for Tomorrow by Haley Hatch Freeman is a true story of a young girl’s struggle with anorexia. It is a narrative nonfiction piece and easy to read.
Although I have read and heard things over the years about anorexia, I have never completely understood the struggles these youth face. This story provided excellent insight as I travelled with Haley through her struggle with this disease. I learned things I didn’t know. I felt her pain and her family’s pain. I felt like I was there with her and found myself wanting to help her. The more I read, the more the experience became personal.
As I finished the last page and closed the book, I found myself thinking that all youth, youth leaders and parents should read this book. It provides a depth of understanding that everyone could benefit from. Not only could it help those struggling with the same issues Haley did, but it can provide parents, siblings and leaders with the knowledge and understanding they need to help anyone who is dealing with anorexia or who could develop this disease. It’s a must read!
Thanks, Haley, for having the courage to share your story.