Dear Spirit Week,
You Have Taken My Spirit.
As I scrolled through Facebook on the Friday following a hectic week with a spirit week added, I saw pictures of “the” parade. The parade we stayed up late the night before preparing for tirelessly. We hot glued, screamed, cried, colored, and cut ourselves into a Sam I Am green eggs and Ham outfit. This was after tutoring and dance class all in one night. Don’t forget a full day of work and school. Scrolling through and seeing the pictures of the parade, made my heart sink, made me feel less than a mother. Spirit week, you took my spirit. At that moment, comparison got me.
I didn’t buy my child an outfit for her favorite character. Nope. My daughter gave me specific directions as to how she wanted to craft her outfit. I was excited to help her be artistic. She was proud of the snack box, paper, and plastic fork hot glue concoction we came up with the night before.
“The parade” for Spirit Week is when all the school-age children that would like to participate can parade through the entire school. They get to show off their favorite character by dressing up as them. My child went to school in regular clothes with a piece of decorated cardboard around her neck. Did I mention that was her choice and she was happy?!
The photos of children in the parade showed them donning purchased costumes and props! I immediately felt ill. Spirit week took all my spirit already. Now it’s making me feel like an awful mother who should have spent money on a costume that my daughter would wear once. Each year she wants to be a different character. She even knows I will not purchase anything. Great, now I’m a cheap mother. The mother who doesn’t have money. The mother that doesn’t care enough about her child to put her in a cute outfit to make her picture-worthy.
Then I get over myself and remember I am teaching my daughter to be creative and resourceful. Not once did she say anything about someone’s costume or how she felt less than the other children. Nope, that was just my mom guilt. She still really liked her design even after seeing everyone else’s for Spirit Week.
I’m now looking forward to the next spirit week or character day! I’m looking forward to my daughter’s next creative idea and plan of execution. I’m looking forward to the pride she will take in her creation as well as the potential struggle that may occur. The struggle that becomes a self-taught lesson.
Spirit week, you have given me spirit!