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Growing up, I remember picture perfect Halloweens. Costumes with those weird plastic faces that you couldn’t see out of and after the bust, homemade ones. To this day, my favorites are Sleeping Beauty and a gypsy. My little brother made a dashing Casper and the cutest hobo clown ever. When we lived in Brownwood, all the neighborhood kids hit the streets right after dinner, strolling the sidewalks until dusk. Then it was back home to sort and inspect candy, trash the fruit, and get some pre-bedtime gorging in before vigorous tooth brushing.
When we came to Midland, Halloween just got better. We discovered the school Halloween carnival! Cake walks, apple bobbing, egg races. And costume contests, our eager faces all lined up along the stage in the Fannin Elementary cafeteria.
I want a piece of Rockwell-esque for my own babies. But there are no young children in my neighborhood. Almost no one comes to the door any more, and when they do, they’re invariably costumeless teen-agers carrying pillowcases. But I don’t begrudge them. If they take the candy, I won’t eat it, so it’s a win-win. But I miss all the sweet faces and costumes and camaraderie of Halloween in the 1980’s!
We hit the local pumpkin patch for pumpkins and a photo opp. I bought costumes at the beginning of the month instead of the day before. Both of the kids wanted to be Batman, which set Little Son off. “But she’s a giiiirrrrlll! She can’t be Batman!” Umm, Little Son, girls can be pretty much whatever they want to be, I replied. So classic Adam West Batman it was. But I added a tutu and glittered her mask, because I saw it on Pinterest and thought it was precious! He chose the blue Bold and the Brave Batman muscle costume.
I managed trunk-or-treat on Wednesday and school costume parties Thursday. Sugar high, napless and amped up by games and two days of revelry, the kids were starting to crash that afternoon. And when I say crash, I mean right into me and right off the rails. Little Son would not stop poking his sister with a glow stick in the back seat. Bodacious dropped a – poke – shoe. Ear splitting screeches. More poking. Then she dropped Piglet. Now she is sobbing and (poke) screaming. Poke poke poke. He is cackling like a madman and I am trying to think straight in the crazy afternoon traffic. My eardrums feel like they are being assaulted by ice picks. Desperately calling the Hubs. Mommy needs a time out. Like five minutes ago. Hubs can’t leave work yet. So we stop by his office for a few minutes of kisses and high fives and me standing outside the car taking deep, centering breaths of exhaust fumes. Then it’s off to the grocery for chips and dip for the pre-ride dinner. Tired kids and tired moms at the store is a bad combination. We leave with five minutes until the hay ride party starts.
By the time we get there, I am exhausted. Having young children is for young moms, but I am in it to win it tonight. The kids are, of course, refusing to put costumes back on. And I don’t even care. I bring them inside and ask one of the other sweet moms to help me with the costumes if the kids change their minds. Dinner, diaper change. We are ready. And I am secretly praying the Hubs will get here in time because chasing the two of them up the streets
And the kids are having so much fun! Running up and down the street, back on to the trailers, waving at every person they pass like some bizarre circus homecoming parade. And by the last stop, it is dark and cold and I am wiped out. Just in case you are wondering, fatigued, fat and flip-flopped make for graceless trailer entries and exits. I dumped over the edge for the final time and watched my kids shovel popcorn balls into their little mouths. They were ecstatic. Chattering with the other kids, bopping and fist pumping to the music. We have all had so much fun. Stinky, sticky fun, but fun nonetheless.
As I sit here this morning, searching for peanut butter cups within their candy