When I was a little girl, my Nana was often a part of our holiday celebrations. She sometimes came with us on vacations, or on the daytime adventures that my Dad arranged to keep us all entertained.
Nana had a way of laughing even when things went wrong. I have a vivid memory of her hiking with all six of us kids and my parents through “The Flume” in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I can hear her laughing as a sudden storm overtook us. We were suddenly drenched and cold, and none of us was happy.
“We’re making memories!” Nana called out in her laughing voice as we slogged our way through the dripping path. And some 50 years later, I still recall that memory with a smile.
I always hoped, when I was the mom of young children, that we were making happy memories together. I hoped that our holidays made memories, even when we discovered that mice had nested in our Christmas decorations. I wanted my kids to grow up with happy memories, funny memories, memorable memories. Even when it snowed on our camping trips or when we all had strep for Christmas.
Tonight is Halloween of 2020. In the face of the terrible Covid pandemic, few people are going door to door to Trick or Treat. Our neighborhood is silent and empty of kids. My grandchildren won’t be going out for candy.
It is a sad reminder that life is nothing like what we want it to be this year.
But we dressed up anyway, Paul and I, in costumes meant to make us look like our dogs. We pinned on our false ears and tails, rubbed make-up on our noses, and put on the dogs’ collars.
I made a guacamole witch and a “Ghosts in the Graveyard” dessert.
We went to our daughter’s house, where she and her three kids were in costume and the house was decorated with light up spiders and glow in the dark ghosts.
We had a supper of “Mummy dogs” and “Monster pizza” and then the kids searched the house for hidden candy.
There was no traditional “Trick or Treat”. There were no neighbors or friends or other kids wandering with glow sticks. It was nothing like Halloween is supposed to be.
But as Paul and I were getting ready to say good night and head back home, my three-year-old grandson Johnny threw his arms around my neck and asked breathlessly, “Nonni, wasn’t this the best Halloween ever?”
And you know what? It really was.
It was the best because Johnny’s parents made memories for their kids. And those memories will last a lifetime.
Happy Halloween 2020.