Last year, my daughter’s teacher asked me to provide some healthy Halloween treats for the 2nd grade party. Everyone knows how terrible I am at anything involving baking, crafts, or decorating. I try, but when it comes right down to it, I’m just not good at these things.
|Halloween Boo Platter|
I am good at words, though. And I recalled the wisdom of my friend in Texas who says firmly, “Heather, God gave these children to you. You are the perfect parent for them. Your gifts are perfectly matched to their needs.” So this time last year, I arrange some vegetables in the shape of the word, “Boo.” I have no idea what I am doing. I take some foil, make a pattern, and fill it in with vegetables. That’s about as crafty as I get.
|The Boo Platter|
Despite my anxiety about this platter (was it cute? would the children love it?), I bring it to the school party. My daughter beams. Children come over to read the word, and they laugh and eat vegetables because they are in the shape of a word. It isn’t even that beautiful as you can see by this photo. (Feel free to comment to make me feel better about this).
Story over. A year goes by.
This week, my daughter bursts from the school doors and calls out, “Mom, I signed you up to make treats for the Halloween party. Everyone wants the Boo Platter! Let’s make another Boo Platter!” She’s holding my hand, staring up into my face, and talking about this Boo Platter like it’s become a public school legend.
I wake up this morning and arrange the foil in the shape of a word. It might be the most important thing I do today, the thing that matters as the years go by. God made me a certain way, and when I act out of that authentic self, I leave a beautiful mark. A simple embellishment–in my style–to a platter created a memory–a tradition–that children remembered and needed. These small acts that I think make no mark, that make no difference, that seem silly and awkward and out of place, actually embed themselves in neighborhood memory.
Living with flair means pressing on in small embellishments that flow from my personality that help shape a family and a community. Sure, some other parents made more creative and impressive things, but what my children remembered and love was a word. Because that’s me.