If I kept a to-do list, here’s what yesterday’s list would include:
1. Walk 3.5 miles at 6:30 a.m.
2. Type 20 minutes’ worth of medical dictation (I think that took an hour and a half).
3. Carve three jack-o-lanterns. (I hate carving pumpkins.)
4. Pick up boys from P.E.
5. Stop by craft store for cardboard cake box.
6. Bake four dozen cupcakes. Frost and sprinkle each one with loving care.
7. Wash several loads of laundry.
8. Cook dinner in Crockpot (rice and bean dish).
9. Work from 3 – 5 p.m. online.
10. Escort children trick-or-treating.
11. Work from 9 p.m. until midnight online.
12. Die from exhaustion.
* * *
My 9-year old wanted to trick-or-treat with his best friend, so we waited almost an hour for said friend to arrive. (His mother was running very late.) My 5-year old and 9-year old spent the hour verbalizing their agony and passing out candy to trick-or-treaters who rang our doorbell.
My 14-year olds went trick-or-treating with their friends (and their friend’s dad). I originally discouraged them from going–I really don’t like seeing uncostumed teenagers begging for candy–but my husband (aka The Voice of Reason) said, “You know, they want to go because even though they aren’t little kids anymore, they want to have fun and be little kids again.”
So, I insisted that my boys wear costumes, at the very least, and stay with a parent. (They borrowed costumes from their friend.) We passed them a few houses down, trick-or-treating with a group of kids (and a dad!) and I was glad I relented. Sometimes I can be so unreasonable.
My daughter ran to each house and punched the doorbell before the boys (I had three 9-year olds with me) even reached the porch. Her cheery, “Trick or treat!” rang out loud enough for me to hear by the road. Once, she received her treat and was halfway down the sidewalk when she remembered that she’d forgotten to say “thank you.” She whirled around and marched right back to the front door to say, “THANK YOU!”
In past Halloweens, I have sewn beautiful costumes. When my twins were three years old, one was Winnie-the-Pooh and one was Tigger. When they were four, they wanted to be pumpkins, so I sewed darling pumpkin costumes. When they were five, I created a horse out of a cardboard box so my son had a “horse” to go with his cowboy costume. (His twin was an Indian in a handsewn costume.) When they were six, I painted costumes made to look like GameBoys.
Then . . . they started asking for those cheap-looking costumes you can buy at Target. They were Power Rangers and Darth Vader and . . . well, nothing memorable. My younger son has come up with his own creations . . . guys named Flame (with yellow and red hair) and Zeke and, oh, nothing memorable, but always including colored hair gel. And usually, a cape.
Last night, my younger son wanted to be Zeke, a “guy with black hair and a sword.” He wore the old Flame cape over his all-black clothing. We sprayed his hair with black stripes which ended up just making his blond hair look brunette. He brandished a long plastic pirate sword. My seamstress’s soul died a little looking at him, even though I did create that cape several years back.
My daughter chose to be a butterfly. We bought glittery butterfly wings at a garage sale for fifty cents last summer and, while I suggested that she pair them with this plush caterpillar costume we’ve had for years–that no one has ever worn for Halloween–she decided, instead, to wear a short leotard over a long leotard. She looked a little bit crazy, but she felt beautiful. So be it. (No pictures today because my camera refuses to speak to my computer. Apparently they are embroiled in a private feud.)
* * *
A note to Spirit 105.3, the local Christian radio station:
STOP IT! I do NOT want to hear Christmas music on Halloween. In fact, I don’t want to hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Don’t make me have to switch the station to talk radio.