I have just two memories that stick out in my mind of Halloween as a kid. One year, I was dressed as a bride with way too much makeup on my face. It had been raining, and the second driveway we were walking down, I tripped, fell and skinned my knee up all bloody. The second memory was in sixth grade when I joined my large group of friends to go trick-or-treating because they thought it would be the cool thing to do. I was almost 12 and felt foolish ringing doorbells for candy. That was my last time trick-or-treating.
In college, I only dressed up twice. As an angel during my freshman year - and a football player my senior year. Complete with Cody's dad's old Aplington football jersey, black cheerleader shorts, a sweatband on my forehead, pigtails in my hair and eye black under my eyes. I was home by 11:30 that night.
I really think the whole thing is pretty foolish. We teach our kids to beg for candy, to pretend to be someone they are not for a day and to walk around outside in the cold. We spend money on costumes that are worn for two hours at the most, and then we fight our kids to eat their actual supper when all they care about is the candy they brought home from their preschool parties. This Halloween... I was just trying to get through the night. And keeping my fingers crossed that Brandon would actually wear his costume.
But when the evening was over, the kids were in bed and I had a chance to curl up under a blanket and log onto Facebook, I saw posts from my friends whose kids were grown and had moved out. Status updates about how quiet and somewhat sad Halloween was now that they didn't have the hustle of getting kids into costumes. That they didn't have candy wrappers to check and no pictures to take of cute little ones. Though I could do without Halloween, I don't want to rush through these years taking anything for granted. Sure, Jaden refused to eat his Happy Meal and whined for chocolate and was so hyper from his parties during the day, that I couldn't get him to settle down long enough to take any good pictures. Sure... we had to drag Brandon out to the street while he protested his costume and yes, he took his beard off halfway through our trick-or-treating journey. But... it didn't take long for Brandon to get the hang of ringing door bells, and it sure was cute to hear him say "Happy Halloween!" to everyone who opened their doors. We only stayed out for about half an hour, and then both boys helped Papa Bob hand out candy back at the house - a job which they took very seriously.
So even though the night wasn't perfect, and even though I'm glad it's over, I know it's important to live out these special days for my kids. Jaden was happy, Brandon was cute. And I did get a couple of pictures.
The best part about the day after Halloween is that we are just three weeks away from Thanksgiving! And I am ready for a low-key weekend. This is the first Saturday in five weeks that Brandon won't need a babysitter! I have plans to check out the library, pick out some Thanksgiving reading material, visit a holiday open house downtown, make some tortilla soup and catch a basketball game on Sunday night. Happy November!