Halloween is everywhere. Suddenly and without warning I am surrounded by it. My daughter woke up Saturday morning ready to decorate. I gave in reluctantly.... it seemed a long time to be living with bats and ghosts. But when we went to a friend's for dinner that night guess what? Yep... fully decorated. They even had their lights up outside. (Not to mention the cute skeleton wearing Nike sneakers and a sun hat.)
To be honest, it is very unlike me not to embrace this holiday full on. I LOVE Halloween. Not just the candy, of course, but the creativity of it; the childlike fun of it; the cool weather and beautiful colors which are such a part of it. But mostly, I love the ability to celebrate a holiday without any family drama.
No worries over where to spend the holiday. Of course we would be home.... how else do you trick-or-treat around
the neighborhood? No big dinner to cook and no anxiety about who feels left out. It is a wondeful holiday.
My best memories of growing up are from Halloween. My mom would make such creative costumes for us (back in
the time when the best costumes were home-made). One year my sister was even Anna, from the musical the King and I. I'll never forget how much I envied her glamorous hoop skirt dress (made with a hula hoop!) Of course it was handed down to me the next year, but it could never be the same as wearing it that very first Halloween.
Our neighborhood was a perfect microcosm of the age we lived in. Block after block of cute little houses all
decorated and ready for the neighborhood kids who came by. There was the scary house no one would ever go to because we were convinced there was an actual witch who lived there (we had some reason for this belief, but that will have to wait for another post). And there was the house where every year we got our picture taken in our costumes. It was around the corner from us, so I am not sure I ever really knew the couple who lived there.... but I sure would love to see those pictures. I can imagine the stacks they must have from all the kids over all the years.
So, why I am reluctant this year, is unclear. Maybe it is because with every year that passes I realize my daughter's childhood is slipping by so quickly. We have gone from animal costumes, to princess costumes and now we are at Cleopatra (and thank goodness for that.... every other 7 year old child I know seems to want to be a vampire
Maybe it is because our summer seemed so short this year. It is the first autumn in years that I wish I could
just hold off a little. I really want to enjoy it, but it is difficult when I am grieving the end of a barely existent
More than anything, though, I think it may be that time marks my move toward putting my work out there.... in the hands of readers who may or may not be gentle with it. I dread the convergence of my private world, where Halloween is my favorite time of the year and my soon to be very public world where I am no longer the only friend (or enemy) to my characters.
Perhaps I will just jump into this head-on. So.... if anyone sees me walking around on Halloween wearing a t-shirt that says, "I'm Jessica... Duh!" you'll know why.