As Doodlebug’s preschool teacher used to say: I have wonderful news! I survived the Brownie fall festival. You remember the Brownie fall festival, right? Last year it wiped me out so completely that I started dreading this year’s immediately afterward.
And even though last year I felt like I’d been smart, this year I was determined to be even smarter. I made a conscious effort to save my energy for the day of the festival and not use it up in the getting-ready phase, as I realize I did last time.
There were several danger zones. The first was the meeting on Thursday night before the festival. I knew it would be easy for me to get sucked in to helping, but I also know from past experience that Brownie meetings are incredibly draining for me. Solution: iDad dropped Doodlebug off so I wouldn’t be tempted to linger.
Then, on Friday night the girls had another meeting to start setting up. Last year I went along, which meant I helped supervise the decoration of the haunted trail. Herding twelve girls wielding fake cobwebs and skeleton hands is not part of my skill set. This was also when I got stuck with Costco duty. We all know how well that went.
iDad to the rescue again – he’s more likely to be amused, not exasperated, by third-grader antics, so he went along with Doodlebug while I stayed home and made pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins for the bake sale. Win-win.
On Saturday morning, then, my Introvert Energy Tank was pretty full. Luckily this year the entire event was more organized, with each family being in charge of one station instead of the floating mystery assignments we had last year. Even better, the girls chose the game or activity they wanted to run, and Doodlebug decided to set up a puppet-making station. We had coloring sheets left over from last year, so we brought those along too.
This turned out to be such a genius idea, because I realized halfway through the festival that we were running the Introvert Table. We didn’t get a ton of kids, but the ones who stopped by stayed for ten, twenty, thirty minutes, coloring or applying stickers or making bats. Some kids needed that. I needed that.
I didn’t have to supervise the hay pile, or explain the rules for pumpkin bowling two hundred times, or drag other Brownies back to their stations. It was perfect. I’m not saying that I loved every minute, but I didn’t feel sick and pathetic afterwards, either, so it was a huge improvement.
It was a reminder to keep adjusting, keep tweaking, and keep playing to my strengths. I won’t say that I’m looking forward to next year, but hopefully I won’t start losing sleep over it until at least September.
Kidding. Kind of.