I love Halloween more than other holiday, but I am glad it’s over for another year. There is the stress of finding the perfect costume. There is the stress of buying the perfect costume. There is the stress of make-up application, accessorizing and picture taking. Thank goodness it’s only once a year.
The costumes were the easy part this year. John had decided, early on, that he would be a Roman gladiator. We bought a metal trash can last year to cook a turkey in (see old blog) and he was captivated by the lid; it’s a perfect shield! His toga was an old red bedsheet, cleverly folded so the bright blue border printed with trucks could not be seen. Amy had a lot of angst about her outfit, but finally came up with a pair of Mork suspenders and a beanie cap with a propeller; she was a dork. The goddess chose the “Ruby the Pirate Beauty” costume at Party City, a costume which should have been titled “Ruby the Pirate Slut”. Yes, it’s true, I let my six year old dress like a skank for Halloween. I’m skipping church today too. My sins are legion.
By the big night, it was evident John’s Roman sandals, for which I paid $8.99, were not going to work. They were too flimsy, so he tossed them aside for a pair of flip flops. Amy’s beanie cap and the propeller parted ways. The skull pendant which the goddess had chosen to accessorize her skank outfit broke. We also lost the narrow strip of black nylon that was supposed to be tied around her head and NOTHING could replace it! Nothing!!! The tantrum was truly spectacular. I mean, if you’re going to be a skank pirate, you have to have the attitude to go with it! Not an auspicious start to the evening. The soup I had made did not come out right. The chicken noodle soup turned into chicken noodle mush. The minestrone was too watery. I hate holidays. I was ready to go trick or treat and get the evening the hell over with.
We started a tradition last year, after we purchased our lawn care company. We take the trailer that hauls the lawnmowers and load all the kids we can onto it and drive around the neighborhood. Our subdivision does not lend itself to trick or treating; it’s very hilly and the houses are spaced far apart, so the trailer helps avoid tired legs and theoretically avoids the whining which accompanies tired legs. Our kids however, being the industrious sort, simply found something else to whine about.
By 6 p.m. we were ready to roll. My friend Julie showed up with six of her seven kids and the trailer was full. We chugged up to the main road and pulled off to let them visit the first set of houses. It was a perfect night, unseasonably warm, and clear as a bell. The kids were squealing with glee, thrilled to be knocking on unfamiliar doors and taking candy from strangers. Truly, there is no better holiday!
We moved on to the next stop and the kids were having a great time. They were raking in candy by the pound. It was going so well, I should have known it was too good to be true. After all, there were no less than 18 children on our trailer. That’s an awful lot of children to count. So it should come as no surprise that we lost a couple on that stop.
No, I am not lying. We left a couple behind. Go ahead and call DHR now. Please. I think all children should be removed from my home and placed in protective custody. What are you waiting for??? Call now!!
Seriously, Julie’s youngest son got on the trailer and he told me Catherine and Amy were not with us. “Oh no, they’re in the truck,” I told him. “Don’t worry about it.” But he was unconvinced and kept craning his head to look in the back of the pickup truck. We pulled away, went two blocks, turned right and went two more blocks. Everyone got off, then Tom told them to get back on because we were going even further, so he wouldn’t have to park the trailer in the middle of the street. When he stopped again, the kids all piled off. I was sitting in my chair, when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered it anyway.
“MOM, YOU LEFT US!!!” Amy yelled into the phone.
“What???” I said, not believing her, although a terrible sense of foreboding flooded me. I stood up and looked into the pick up truck; no girls.
“Where Are You?” she said and I could hear her panic. “I had to borrow a phone to call you and I don’t know where you are!”
About that time, I saw my hopes of winning “Mother of the Year” float down the drain. “Where are you?” I asked her, hoping maybe she was not too far away. I had images of my baby running through the dark neighborhood, pursued by vampires and goblins, her last moments of life tainted by the knowledge she had been abandoned by her mother.
“I don’t know, but we’re with John,” she said. Some of the panic went out of me; at least she was with her brother, although considering he had a sword, she probably still wasn’t really safe.
“TOM,” I hollered, “We left some kids behind!!!” I handed him the phone so he could try and figure out where she was and I slumped back into my chair. Leave it to me to lose a kid or two. Luckily, we still had all the little ones. We continued trick or treating and eventually Amy and Catherine caught up with us.
Once we had everyone accounted for, the rest of the night was reasonably smooth. We finished our night by walking through a haunted house one of the neighbors had set up in his basement. I stayed on the trailer with Julie and tried to ignore my bladder which was crying out to be relieved of the beer I had foolishly imbibed.
We got home at 8:30 and the little angels were tucked into bed by 9:00, full of sugar. The worst part about the end of Halloween is it makes Christmas loom that much larger on the horizon! Now it’s time to take down the Halloween decorations and get out all the Christmas crap. Can I get a BAH HUMBUG???