Boo! Your family art project is due tomorrow.

When the boys’ preschool asked each family to create a project for the family art show, I winced. It was due just days after our move out of our house.

I wanted to skip it, but last year we had such a great time making a rocket. So I figured we’d keep it simple.
Then I forgot about our assignment until the end of the day on Monday when Daniel’s teacher mentioned that family art projects were due Wednesday.
“Of course they are,” I thought.
Not surprisingly, since we are in moving mode, an empty cardboard box was the source of our inspiration. But we couldn’t decide what to do with it.
Still, as Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
So Grandma, Leo, and I headed to the craft store. Every time I proposed what I thought was a simple idea for decorating the box, Leo would have a better one.
We went from Angry Birds to Barbapapas to outer space, then back to Star Wars Angry Birds. Please don’t ask me how long we were there. All I know is that when we finally settled on creating a haunted house, I rushed Leo to the register before we could change our minds.
Then last night the four of us gathered to create the most fantastic haunted house we could imagine.
Daniel drew a monster.
Leo colored a creepy hand.
We talked about how clay is not butter even when it looks like butter.
Then we made spooky creatures.
During our beach vacation, John took Leo on a haunted house ride on the boardwalk, so this couldn’t just be a haunted house. It had to be interactive.
John squelched Leo’s suggestion that we install an electric light to make it glow, but he came up with alternatives.
So the creepy hand pops out of the side, and there are flaps to open.
A ghost Leo made pokes his head through the roof.
Now, those features won’t work at the art show unless Leo or Daniel jumps in to help, but they made for a lot of fun.
And this morning Daniel and his father delivered the house to school. He showed it to all the teachers, and then ran up to one of his friends.
“We made a ghosty house!” he said proudly.
A few hours of family fun with minimal expense—other than the lengthy discussions in advance—and we have a haunted house our boys love. Why was I so scared?

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.