Yesterday, I foolishly used a large, steel roasting pan to hold all the candy I had for the littles for when they came to the house and yelled, “Trick-or-treat!?!?” There were Kit Kats, Reese’s, Sour Patch Kids, and Heath Bars. I put on duck boots to hide my unpolished toes and a trucker cap to cover my unwashed mop, then waited for someone to walk down the long driveway to our front porch which is decorated with pumpkins, mums, and skeletons. Nobody showed up.
For the first year in many, I didn’t smell the cheap, pasty-white Walmart make-up and the over-spray of black hairspray didn’t threaten the cloth furniture or ecru wall. Nobody had to be told “say thank you” or “stay out of the road” and I didn’t check one Snickers for razor blades, needles, or miniscule tears in the wrapping. Yay me, right?
Peace doesn’t always accompany silence and rest. It can latch on quite nicely to anarchy and excitement, and I so miss the chaos.
Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “there’s one time when you put your child down and don’t pick them up again.” It floored me the first time I heard it. Generally, people aren’t aware they do it, it just happens naturally around the time a child is already becoming too big to hold. I am tempted to lift each man-size son of mine and hold them on my right extended hip, just so I know the exact moment I put them down the last time. (How long do I have to hold them up for it to count?) Imagine knowing the actual moment you put your child down one last time? I don’t want to know.
Nobody sent me a memo or tagged me in a social media share saying, “This year will be the first year your kids will not trick-or-treat.” I didn’t know they were done. There was no declaration on their part where they came to me and said, “Mom, I’m too old” or “I want to give out candy this year instead.” So my only hope to be blanketed with the holiday spirit was to receive neighborly visitors.
Since 2015, we haven’t lived in a traditional neighborhood, so we don’t have Halloween guests dressed like frilly princesses or Freddy Krueger who knock on our door. There’s no giving out candy and chatting with local neighbors, and we didn’t eat warm pot pie while we took turns reading “The Raven.” We were never alone, but in large groups of humans and some dogs, the adults holding massive cups of mixed drinks or we would dump beer into our travel mugs. We’d see other friends on our journey and were always laughing and feeling childlike.
The cooler air would remind us that the holidays were coming, and we wouldn’t quit until ones with the shorter legs in our group would become tired, triggering the child’s shoulders to droop and their neck to stop working, causing their little faces to aim at the dark sky.
“Mahhhhhm. I’m tired and I have enough candy.”
Well, nobody asked me if I was tired or had enough candy. I never said I was done.
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