thoughts that halloween brought about

Zane and his friend Claire. I love his look here. He seems to be saying, "We can take them. They think they can put us in these crazy outfits and we'll just sit here?!"

Because what monkey doesn't want a banana?

Grandma finally got a smile out of the little monkey.

Zane, I would like you to know this was your grandma's idea. Please see her later in life for any embarrassing moments you have when your girlfriend sees this photo.

Last night on the drive home it hit me that I’m feeling torn right now. Pat and I volunteer with high school students (Senior High) and truly do love it. We hope that we can help make a difference in their lives as they begin to struggle with their individuality. It’s such an impressionable age. I had people in my life that helped shape the person I am today and I hope that we can be that for someone too.

But then there’s our family and I don’t want to put that to the side to serve. I want balance instead. With Halloween falling on a Wednesday night that meant that we had obligations to be at Senior High. Obligation may be a poor choice of words in that I’m sure they would have understood if we choose not to attend last night but sometimes we feel the pressure. Sometimes the phrase “Well you really missed a good night,” makes us feel guilty for choosing to be with our family that night instead. I know this is no one’s intention but it is a struggle we are having right now.

We choose to volunteer again this year thinking that our time commitment would be a bit less and would leave time for Zane and other activities as well. To us it really hasn’t been any less than last year and that’s a bit frustrating. We still want to see our students outside of Wednesday nights and it’s so hard to schedule that and then realize it means less time together as a family. How do we find that happy balance of volunteering and family? Throw in work, friends and extended family and it really gets all jumbled up.

Last night it came to a head with Halloween. Granted I know that Zane will have no memory whatsoever of his first Halloween but we will. It would have been nice to dress him up and go over Torrey and Annie’s and watch the trick-or-treaters in their neighborhood. But instead we would be taking him to the nursery and barely seeing him at all. After talking to Pat we decided we’d dress him up, take him to see the ladies in the nursery and then keep him with us for Senior High. We got him in his monkey suit (see above) and all the students and adults got a kick out of it. He got a resounding “AWWWWW” when we walked into the room late.

Even though the night turned out okay I’m still struggling with our time commitments of volunteering right now. We would feel as though something was missing if we were not volunteering. It’s something we feel called to do. But I don’t want to look back on our time with Zane when he’s so young and wish that we had spent more time to relish in his changes and just hang out instead of being on the go.