I am thinking back to Halloweens of the past. Our neighborhood was filled with children, and our kids ran among them. Halloween back then was held on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, well before the sun would set. We are a rural community, and without streetlights, it only made sense to “Trick or Treat” in the daylight. I can remember the anticipation, the excitement, the preparations for the big event. I can remember putting on the make up, taping up the costumes, sending them out the door into the crisp fall air to mingle with friends and neighbors.
I remember standing at the door the year that our middle child was fresh from the hospital with pneumonia and asthma. He stood by my side, his dyed towel cape trailing down his back, as we handed out candy to the troops of kids who came by the house.
I can remember going out with my three children, laughing and smiling at friends and neighbors. I can remember pushing a stroller around our streets with a tiny “ghost” inside.
I am remembering what it felt like when the years went by, and the town began to embrace the more typical 5-7 Trick or Treat hours of bigger places. I remember standing by the door, the big bowl of candy in my arms. I remember greeting the little ones from the street, handing them chocolate as I exclaimed with delight over every costume. I remember the grins, and the cheeky jokes. I remember the somber stares of the smallest goblins who were still not entirely sure that this whole thing was a good idea.
As the year passed by, though, the little ones in our neighborhood grew up. They moved out and moved on.
They left Halloween behind.
It’s been years since I last had a little “Trick or Treat” called at my door. It’s been years since I last oohed and aahed over a tiny princess in her sparkly costume. It’s been years since we have had a real Halloween here.
I haven’t carved a pumpkin in quite a while.
Why should I? I don’t think that it will chase away evil spirits. There are no little hands to scoop out the seeds or light the candle. If I buy a pumpkin now, its to make a tasty and sophisticated pumpkin soup.
I miss those days.
A long time ago, when this blog was new and I was still grieving my empty nest, I wrote a post about missing the Halloweens of the past. You can read it here, if you are so inclined. It’s called “Haunted“.
As the years went by, and I became more adjusted to my empty nest and to my role as the older lady instead of the young Mom, I learned to embrace the pleasures of being a teacher. I get to enjoy the kids, love the kids, celebrate with the kids. But I don’t have to deal with the braces, the stomach aches, the forgotten homework or the failed tests. Its really pretty sweet.
Today I dressed up as a moose (in honor of the camp song that we learned this month at Camp Merrowvista.) In an homage to our trip, my colleagues dressed as a Penguin and a Jelly Fish. The kids got the humor right away. They sang all three Camp Songs as soon as they saw us at the door.
It was pretty hilarious to teach about the Age of Exploration while dressed as a “Great Big Moose”. They laughed, I laughed, all was right with the world.
I went through the day today being reminded, over and over again, of what it is that makes childhood so special, so wonderful, so fleeting. I talked about Christopher Columbus as my moose antlers bounced up and down on my head. I watched a child in a bacon costume writing an essay on his laptop. I conferenced with a girl in a vampire costume as we edited her story.
The kids were fantastic. Funny, silly, respectful and well mannered. I had a fabulously fun day, surrounded by happy children. I remember what it felt like to be a child in a costume. I remembered what it felt like to be the mother of a child in a costume.
Thank you to my class. It was a fun and silly and nostalgic day for me! You make it so much fun to come to work.
And now I must say thank you and “bear with me!” to those who are reading this little blog. I have decided to push myself a bit (to enter my “growth zone”, in the words of my students) and to join the crazy folks of NaNoWriMo. I have never written a novel. I have only written a few short stories. Mostly, I write these little stream of consciousness blog posts. But I have had a story bouncing around inside my skull for a long time now. It needs to get out of there. So. I will spend the next thirty days trying valiantly to put my story into 50,000 words and into a novel format. Wish me luck. I’m sure gonna need it!
I hope to see you all on the other side of this crazy endeavor!
14 thoughts on “This is really scary…..”
I know what you mean, Mom. I grew up in a little country town, population 330. I raised my son in the house my father and his father lived in. As a puppeteer, I always had a blast at Halloween. Each year I’d make a different giant puppets (think Muppets) and hide under a special table that let me work the puppets while I remained invisible. The little kids, the ones Halloween’s really for, loved it. I may not have had the best handouts, but I had the most “repeat” callers. Then, about 15 years ago, I retired and moved to the big city so that my son could raise his son in the family home.
Although I live in a family-oriented complex, I’ve yet to see any children trick-or-treating here. I still buy the candy, but I’ve never handed any out. [Of course, it doesn’t go to waste since zorbear eats most of it.] I no longer make a new puppet each year. What’s the point? The kids all know me, but I’m the guy with the pet-able service dog instead of the guy with the puppets. I have to admit I really miss the holiday.
Hey, that candy does too go to waist!
Good luck, Mom, with the writing project. We’re all pulling for you…
Thanks, my friend!
That story is almost knocking a hole in my head by now. I am hoping that it virtually jumps itself right out of there.
I do, too. I know I’m just really lucky to have had so many years with my kids, and I’m so lucky to spend the holiday with a group of happy children. Still, I miss the whole big event.
I even miss the after hours meltdowns of the little ones, as we’d wipe of the make up and put away the candy.
Wonderful story. You can do the novel and I want to be the first doodle to read it. Now go do it!
Good God, its only 9 Am and I’m already procrastinating….
Good luck with Nano. You have wonderful stories to share!
I hope this one comes together. Its the first time I’ve ever had a story really knocking to get out!
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Enjoy Nano It’s a blast those 1667 words daily sometimes come easily sometimes not But they always come.
I’ll miss your thoughts and writings but will be looking for more in December. Happy Thanksgiving,
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Good luck with the novel. I will miss your blog posts but eagerly anticipate reading your fiction. You are braver than I am in that regard. I plan to take a short story writing course in the spring to take a stab at it…
Where are you taking the course? I need something like that, for sure.
Lovely post. I am delighted to hear you have a story there and are going to actually do something about it. The very best of luck to you. I hope you enjoy it.
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I can’t wait to read your novel.
We had hundreds of trick or treaters!
I hope one day someone can read it! I hope it gets written and I hope it at least makes sense. Really out of my “comfort zone”! Glad you were able to get rid of some candy. My fridge is now labeled “Temptation Central”.