Witch Parties and No-Homework Potion

Oops! Well, my initial blog attempts have obviously failed miserably, as it has been…several months since my first – and last – post. In my defense, it has been a fairly busy few months. Still, no excuse. I shall endeavour to do better. So, to begin where I left off – witches! As a child, I adored witches. Other little girls may have wanted to be princesses and wear pretty dresses and dance with handsome princes, but I wanted to wear a pointed black hat and fly a broomstick and brew potions. Luckily, I had friends who felt the same way. (I should point out that none of us had anything against princesses, and I certainly did own a few pretty dresses.) One of our favourite games of make-believe was pretending to be students and teachers at a school for witches (and this was before Harry Potter came out, I might add).  We would take turns teaching classes and assigning homework. And we actually did the homework! (…Sometimes.) I still have one of the assignments I did, horrible spelling and all.  Ironically, it was for a No-Homework Potion, an ingenious invention by my 7-year-old self that could be slipped into a teacher’s coffee, causing said teacher to forget to assign homework.  (Don’t try this at home, kids.)

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I often had theme birthday parties as a child, and for my 9th birthday, I had a witch party.  All my friends showed up in black robes and pointed hats, and we read witch poems to each other and did broomstick dances and played a game of Pin the Tail on the Black Cat. My mother made a chocolate cake shaped like a broomstick and we decorated the table with plastic bugs and bats. The green punch had ice cubes with little plastic flies frozen in them. It was one of the best days of my life.

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I’m not entirely sure what it was about witches that appealed so much to me as a child. Perhaps it was their independence. Unlike princesses, witches never needed to be rescued. They didn’t need princes; they were just fine on their own. (I never owned a Ken doll, because my Barbies were strong, independent women who didn’t need Ken in their lives.) Witches were capable and confident, as I desperately wanted to be. Witches were clever, and I was bookish and clever myself. I often felt like a bit of an outsider, and witches were the outsiders of the fairy tale world, though they never seemed to mind (except in Sleeping Beauty. But then, she was a faery, not a witch, so it doesn’t count.) So perhaps I identified with witches.  Or perhaps I’m projecting my grown-up views on to my childhood self.  If you’d asked me then why I wanted to be a witch, I’d probably have said it was so I could have magic powers. And drug my teachers into forgetting about homework.

Happy Dreaming,

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