There are many good things about children growing up. Halloween is not one of them. I used to love Halloween so much. Not in the hang-severed-heads-in my front yard kind of way but in the fresh air, candy, neighbours, happy tired children, soaking up the community spirit kind of way. We got together with our once-a-year Halloween friends and ordered pizza and took turns taking the kids out and coming in to warm up.
Things are different now. Chloe volunteers on Mondays until 6:30, then she stopped in at home to dress up before going out with friends. Spencer had Improv after school, followed immediately by Drivers Ed, so he didn't get home until after 8 p.m. Neve went over to a friend's at 5:30. She and her friends popped in here at one point, but that's all I saw of her until she came home at 9:30. I offered to go out trick or treating with them but that idea was shot down quickly. So Dale and I sat at home alone. We don't get a lot of kids here, so we answered the door a few times and I did laundry and tried to hook the printer up to the computer. That was a lot of fun.
Don't even get me started on the pumpkin carving. I bought three pumpkins a while ago and told the kids to think about what they wanted to carve. I pictured a happy family event with joy and laughter and cookies shaped like pumpkins and "The Monster Mash" playing in the background. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. After a million reminders, Neve finally decides she wants a gymnast doing a split leap. Of course, I have to carve it because she only has one functioning hand. The other children do not share my pumpkin-carving vision in any way so today I quickly carved the other two because for some reason I couldn't bear the thought of uncarved pumpkins.
Next year I'm adopting a little kid or two. Just for Halloween and then I'll give them back. Or I'll go trick or treating myself. The first person to come to our door was a 30-year-old man wearing a bit of make-up. I didn't know what that was all about, so we looked at each other awkwardly until eventually I asked him where the kids were. "They're coming," he said, as he held out his bag. "I'll wait," I said. After about 15 seconds (which is long when you're standing with a 30-year-old wannabe trick-or-treater), some kids appeared. I gave them candy and then the man held out his bag too. I told him those days were over for him and he left.
The next people to come was a woman and a child. I gave the kid candy and then the mother said, "I have two bags" and proceeded to open her pillowcases. I said, "For who?" "For the kids down there - they can't come up the stairs, it's too dangerous." I looked and all I saw was another woman with a tiny baby in a stroller. It was very confusing but in the spirit of Halloween, I gave her candy. I worried that if I didn't, they'd egg our house but Dale said if they can't buy their only candy, they're probably not going to buy eggs.
I am totally fine with older teenagers trick or treating as long as they make an effort to dress up, but I feel like once you have a child of your own, that ship has sailed. I felt kind of bad about questioning them, but it was before 6:00 and I always worry that I'll run out of candy. I have never once run out of candy but you never know. Oh, I guess if that happens, I could just turn out the lights. Never thought of that.
Both girls revisited their 2013 costumes. Back then, when Neve asked Chloe who she was supposed to be, she understood "Laundry Hamper" instead of "Audrey Hepburn." It's been a running joke ever since.
The Grandma costume Neve wore that year was her favourite, so she recreated/ modified it this year to be an "exercising grandma" with tracksuit, hand weights, and a sweatband. And of course, the walker. That's the highlight. I can't even imagine how awkward that must have been for trick-or-treating. She said every single house they went to had front steps and she carried her walker up every time. She also wore the hand weights all evening. Thank goodness she got her temporary cast off this morning. Her finger is still bruised and tender, but the doctor said taping it up was all that was necessary, which was a big relief.
She practiced many facial expressions to complete her look. For the record, neither of Neve's grandmas - or any grandma we know - ever look like this.
So that was our sad and lonely Halloween. The saddest part is that it's probably going to get lonelier every year. Well, I've got a year to come up with new ideas or adopt a child. I hear the paperwork is a drag so I better get on it.