We had Character Day on Friday at our school, as it was “I Love to Read” month. Each class has been reading a book and they dressed up as characters from things like Charlotte’s Web and Matilda. I took the comfortable route and was a banana. Diary of a Wimpy Kid in Portuguese is Diario de um Banana, so it was legit. Also, I got to wear yoga pants under my costume, which is pretty much my goal in life achieved. (For a longer post on my feelings about my banana costume vs. sexy costumes, see here.)
Hands down, this was the greatest decision I have ever made. We’re an international school – about 40 different countries represented. But you know what word is pretty much the same worldwide? That’s right. Freaking “banana.”
I was so famous on campus, because everyone knew my name. Another goal in life achieved. And it also helped that my boss had a monkey mask. I was able to fulfill a long dream and run through an assembly dressed as a banana being chased by a monkey. I army crawled across the stage, we “hid” behind those ferns churches always have on their stages, and caused general havoc among the preschoolers.
My celebrity was solidified when last night, as I was cooling down from a jog around my apartment complex, I saw a group of adults and small children pointing at me in the distance, and took out an earbud to hear Ella from the Pre-K 4’s class shouting “you were a banana! The monkey chased you!”
Easily the most fun I had though was telling every child who stated the obvious that I was not a banana. The conversation would go like this:
Kid: Are you a banana?
Me, dressed as a banana, looks behind self: What? Who are you talking to?
Me: Do I look like a banana?
Me: That’s ridiculous.
Kid points to morning snack, which was conveniently a banana: You look just like that! A banana!
Me: Absolutely not. You’re crazy.
Kid picks up snack, looks from snack to me and back to snack, back to me: . . . . . .but . . . . .
Me, pulling out mouse ears and placing them on head, wondering how many years until anyone gets this reference: I’m a mouse. Duh.
Kid: . . . Banana . . . ?
Me: Try again, son.
In hindsight, I realize this was probably a terrible thing to do to a bunch of English learners. But I only had a pumpkin spice latte and candy corn to eat that day, so my judgment was impaired. I’ve probably emotionally damaged a lot of children by insisting I was not a banana, when I was clearly a banana. But I’ll be remembered! And it’s important to leave a mark in this world. Or something like that.
Later that night, we gathered at Katherine’s house for an AMAZING (and I do not use that word lightly) Harvest Festival, which is the Christian way of saying we celebrated Halloween.
I showered and changed into normal cute clothes before going, because you’d be surprised how much children want to caress you and take selfies with you when you’re a banana. But one of our friends scared the poop out of me and others by dressing in a blue man suit and creeping all around, and a few others were costumed.
We are dorks, so we played an apple eating game and a mummy TP wrap game. But the highlight (besides the food…SPINACH DIP! GUACAMOLE! At one point, Tess said “I don’t think you’ve left the side of the room with the table.” To which I replied “But this is where the food is. At the food table.”) was the scavenger hunt.
Take a roomful of teachers and give them a competition, and the perfectionist and performer that lurks in us all comes out full freaking blast. We split into teams and raced through the streets to video ourselves singing creepy songs to Brazilians, slow dancing with Brazilians, climbing trees, putting our feet in the ocean, and ordering beer in halting Portuguese from kiosks.
Perhaps the best part was reviewing all the moments as a group, and watching a South African and Australian attempt the USA National Anthem, which spiraled into a bit of political commentary probably inappropriate for the internet. Hilarious, nonetheless.
All this to say . . . I remember growing up and thinking it was going to be a boring life to be a Christian. I felt like choosing Christ was choosing to be resigned to a life of stupid small talk and terrible puns.
As I grew up, I walked away from Jesus and ran towards a lot of other things for a long time, because I thought it would be more fun. I ended up miserable and full of regrets, and went crawling crying running back to Jesus again. And now it’s so absolutely lovely to be in a job, in a school, living in community with a bunch of people who are just as crazy and good clean fun as I have ever wanted to know.
And I’m just SO SO GLAD I get to know them all.