I don’t have ONE particular Halloween that sticks out. As a kid we had fun trick-or-treating, but I don’t remember it being the “event” that it is today. And my parents certainly never thought the holiday was a big deal. I have precious few photographs of me on Halloween from when I was a child.
High school – I have not one Halloween memory. In college, it was an excuse to get drunk cheap. As for my early twenties, I got nothing. When I was waiting tables in graduate school, it was a very profitable evening. When I entered the corporate world, I got my ass home early so I didn’t get stuck in nightmare traffic
Then I had children…
It was exciting to live in our first home and give out candy. My little guys were not quite one, so we didn’t take them out – but they did wear little pumpkin onesies.
The boys’ first year of trick-or-treating they were Pooh & Tigger, which were borrowed costumes from our neighbors (thank you Auntie Lynn). This was the year I was certain something was wrong. Barrett was very disconnected and scared of everything we did that night. It was not fun. You can see it in my face.
This was during the dark period. We had our diagnosis and I was barely functioning. We lived in a tiny condo in Clarksville, MD, because I couldn’t find the right house for us. My heart was broken. The boys dressed up for school, as Batman and Superman, but we did not trick-or-treat and we did not have a pumpkin. This is the only picture I have. I’m kind of glad, because there isn’t much I want to remember from that time.
Light entered in my life once again. I was the mother of three. I had my baby girl, Audrey (who wore her brother’s pumpkin onesie). Hunter (Pirate) was thriving and my Bear (Devil) was still lost, but he had his mom back. That night there were no tricks, just the treat of hope.
We were back in Georgia, in our third new home in five years (we don’t let the grass grown under our feet). All was good with the world. We were happy, even if the lion (Barrett) and puppy (Hunter) in the picture don’t look like it. Focus on the happy little witch.
We had fun this year. The Lewis family was visiting and our other close friends had just moved to Georgia and were in temporary housing, so they joined us. As you can see, it was the year of Spiderman. We trick-or-treated in a pack and Barb convinced us to dress up. I was a devil woman. The boys were Thomas and James and my girl was once again a witch. Yes, this should have scared me. But I was too happy to be afraid. All was good in Smith World. Still, something was missing…
Tony Stewart (couldn’t find a #48), Jeff Gordon & Dora
Number four, my Cammy, arrived that summer. He wore one of the family onesies and joined his siblings in the neighborhood. Our biggest hiccup was Barrett’s curiosity about the neighbors. Yes, I had to drag him out of more than one house. Trick-or-treat or home invasion?
The Lewis family was back and we had a great time. What sticks out for me about this year is the blissful simplicity of it all. We were in a groove and had a Halloween routine. Audrey returned to her Halloween roots as a “glitter rainbow witch” and Hunter finally scored a Jimmie Johnson costume. Bear was a baseball player and Cammy a panda bear.
We didn’t know it, but it was our last Halloween in that home. And it was cold and rainy – yuck. My Halloween crew consisted of Tom Brady, Super Mario, Sharpay (HSM) & a monkey.
We were without a home and a neighborhood! Long story, but house hunting for me was no longer fun – and don’t sell your house if you have nowhere to go. Iron Man, Tom Brady, the Angel/Devil woman and Woody invaded our old neighborhood.
Finally, in our new home. We took the Army Man, punk rocker, Devil Rebel (?) and Transformer to a neighborhood we back up against, because at the time my children were the only trick-or-treaters in our development. This year was a turning point for me. The awe and excitement was fading for some of us. The glitter was gone and I had begun to feel the looming end of Halloween as a family experience.
I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the last picture I’d get of four excited, costume-wearing trick-or-treaters. The following year, one would be “too old” to dress up. I don’t know which is worse – the sadness of experiencing a moment that you know will be a “last time,” or being spared the anguish, but missing the chance to relish it? To soak it in. Notice Audrey is back to being a witch. Help me. Bear was ketchup, Hunter a ninja and I have no clue what Camden is dressed as. How sad it that?
Audrey rocked the Pink Lady costume and Cammy is my Captain America. I wasn’t feeling it last year. I was still rocked by my brother’s passing, and I felt off balance with two kids staying home. Adding insult to injury, Audrey ditched us to ride a golf cart with her friends and Rich hung back at a Halloween party. In the end, it was just Cammy and me. I ended up carrying him for most of the walk – and with my heavy heart – I was exhausted and numb.
There isn’t one Halloween that I remember as being spectacular, but the collage of years and memories has created a strange brew of emotions for me. Happiness, anxiety, sadness, joy, excitement, longing, wistfulness. This year, I’m going to be present for the holiday. I will not worry about an inappropriate costume, the kids eating too much candy, or the fact that it’s supposed to be pretty damn cold tomorrow. I’m going to experience it all and relish the moment. I don’t know how many more we’ll have. I’m not trying to get deep (maybe I am, but inarticulately at best), or doom and gloom. Next year, we may not live here. Next year the Lewis Family may once again join us. Next year I may have four children who want to trick-or-treat – or one. There will come a Halloween when my babies will not be with me, they will be off celebrating with their own families, or rushing home from the office to beat the traffic, or drinking cheap at some college bar (when they’re 21). Until that inevitable time, they are here and I will embrace and enjoy the moment, no matter who goes trick-or-treating with me.
Tell me about your Halloweens over the years? Does one stick out as special? Were they fun? Not fun? Too much work? What were some of the costumes?
The blog was inspired by the Finish the Sentence Friday Blog Hop. This week’s sentence was “One Halloween…” This week’s hosts are listed below. Please visit their posts and show them some love!
Stephanie of Mommy, For Real
Dana or Kiss My List
April from 100 LB Countdown
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