Welcome to Chickadee Junction

Welcome to Chickadee Junction

I have birdfeeders outside of my office window. My office is in my home, up on a hill, surrounded by trees. The most frequent avian visitors are the chickadees. When the feeders are empty, they come to the window and let me know. They seem to converge here, and draw my attention out...

I wrote a column about life with children for six years. Now I am the grandmother, and I would like to repost those stories. I will also be adding thoughts and reflections, and if inspired - stories from the now.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Halloween Reflections

My mother took pictures of all her grandchildren to work.  Every single co-worker identified the youngest member of the Swedish Mafia as the "handful."  He's the kid with the gleam of mischief in his eye.  And looks, in this case, do not betray.  He'll be an angel for Halloween.  The halo atop that grin is a perfect combination.

Sometimes the right costume happens.  The baby, for instance, is at the stage where she wants to stand on laps rather than be cuddled.  She's wearing out everyone's shoulder muscles as we take turns supporting her while she bounces on our bellies.  As she stands,. she has developed the habit of of supporting herself with her right leg and exploring her surroundings with her left foot.  Since she's always in pink, she'll be a flamingo!  All my babes wore blanket sleepers with an appropriate headpiece for their first Halloween.

The older kids get to pick.  The oldest has announced that she intends to do everything herself and it's not necessary for me to know what she's doing since she can handle it all and she does know what she's doing.  Middle son wants to be an unmutant turtle - a snapper with a fierce head.  The remaining child has not made a formal announcement at the time of this writing.  I am waiting with bated breath.  He usually chooses something elaborate, and decides at the last minute.  Keeps Mom's life exciting.  Last year he was a crusading knight.  We had to make a helmet and tunic and shield and mail and weapons and...he looked great.

When I was nearing the end of my trick-or-treat career I decided to be a mermaid.  An old, strapless green formal covered in yards of tulle - an aunt's discarded prom dress, maybe - was the vital part of our dress up box.  I talked Mom into cutting it so the skirt was real tight, all the way to my ankles.  Mom suggested a slit, but a glimpse of leg would not have been authentic and I wanted it my way.  She covered two coat hangers for fins to cover my feet.  I looked great.  As long as I stood still.  I had to hop to get anywhere.  Suddenly the mermaid wasn't as graceful or beautiful as I'd imagined.  I did win a prize, most creative or something.  Probably the most unusual for the mermaid doing the bunny hop!

Mima's Notes:
Both of my grandmothers were first generation Americans, born of Swedish immigrants.  Our family looks Swedish, and I christened my three sons The Swedish Mafia at a very early age.  The three of them were tough and daring and would try anything.  It was like having a litter of puppies in the house for about a decade. 

From what I understand, the title has stuck.  Even now, I occasionally hear the title - The Swedish Mafia.

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