Halloween is awesome. We woke up a little hungover and blissed out on Sunday. “Wasn’t last night fun?” Dan asked me every 20 minutes. I kept laughing at him – yes, honey, like I said before: It was fun. But I understood. He asked again and again because over the course of the question he could duck back into the glow.
After approximately 22 years (oh my, that’s a lot!) I finally have a reason to Trick or Treat again. Of course in those intervening years there have been excellent costumes and adult parties. Some of those parties have been pretty epic. (I can’t bring myself to unsubscribe from the GhostShip mailing list. I’ll never forget the first year they put it on in the airplane hanger on Treasure Island…massive pirate ship, silent disco, DJs galore. Reading descriptions like “Prime the detonators, and pile up the dynamite because you are about to experience Annihilation at Ghost Ship Halloween 2015″ make me smile…)
And while Halloween is known for hedonism, tricks and scares, this year, I remembered that Halloween has a wholesome side too. The joy of getting dressed up with your family- everyone invited to be creative, silly, scary or whatever it is they want to be. Of neighbours giving out treats to each other’s kids (I mean, the community aspect of Halloween is just plain cool) Kids squealing with delight. Sunday’s social media feed full of baby strawberries, bears, Star Wars characters, and smiles stretching ear to ear.
Dan was buzzing all day and insisted on getting makeup to draw blood on our faces (we were campers who had been attacked by our little James bear) and carving a pumpkin. We went over to see James’s cousins who really go the extra mile on decorations and costumes – including fog machine, rats and dog skeleton with red eyes.
James held his little pumpkin bucket and cooed all through the night while Dan proudly carried him from door to door.
I had this funny feeling all night, standing back at the curb while the kids ran to the doors or holding James as adults dropped candy in his bucket. A feeling about the order of things. I’ve been an adult for nearly half my life and yet I had delusions before James came along – after all, our parents still call us the ‘kids’ and even if I knew we weren’t kids, I could still argue that on the spectrum of adults, we were young. But I can’t even pretend that we are the ones at the beginning of our lives anymore.
The kid is the one in the little bear suit. His life is just beginning. We are the parents – our lives somewhere in the middle- standing behind him.