Tuesday, November 1, 2016

So Long, Halloween Twenty Sixteen!

November 1st is always a strange day for me.  I look around my house at our "Halloween hang over" observing a diaper clad toddler running through the wreckage with his chubby cankles protruding from his ankle socks. I take in the other toddler with his then-black-now-gray-spiky hair, sorting his candy for the third time on the couch. I watch the older kids viciously scrub at the remnats of a captain america star and the dripping vampire blood, looking in the mirror with sleepy eyes.

I have vague memories of last night, October 31st. 
Memories of picking up William and running him from house to house so he could keep up with the older kids...and on that note, Caity shouting "WILLIAM!" as soon as she saw the homeowner begin closing their door, only to realize Johnny already grabbed a candy for his little brother.  
I think images of jack o lantern and ghost pancakes for breakfast and dead man's toes and pie crust tombstones in potato swamps for dinner.  
I see William and Johnny working on the witch hat craft at the Library with William's proud smile and Johnny's tongue sticking out of his mouth while he colored in the lines, them both being watched by a little tiger trying to figure out how to open his sucker. 
There was Caity in her jack o lantern shirt and striped tights helping me make treats for teachers at school, and there was a lego-made trunk-or-treat by Johnny.
I swell with gratitude and pride thinking about John braving the winds to fix the van for me last minute.
I have memories of trying about a million pictures unsuccessfully of my kids' costumes before we headed to the Season's Medical Trick or Treat.
I see my kids blend with swarms of neighborhood kids dressed as witches, super heroes, and tigers going door to door, and the fun I had greeting all our wonderful neighbors.  I remember a very shy hulk when he finally had the courage to say "Trick of Treat!" and the intense face of a cute baby Tiger every time a piece of candy made it into his Frankenstein pail his white knuckles clutched for dear life.
I see Caity posing, and re-posing to be a more convincing Vampire as she dripped with confidence, swooshing her cape over half her face.
And I see Johnny flexing his fake muscles and flexing again and tackling and speed racing with his fist in the air. 
I see wilting Jack O Lanterns and wind blown wreaths.
The face expressions of cute newlywed couple, Becca and Tyler, as they came out to the car to see their excited to-show-their-costumes niece and nephews.
I think about the piles of candy being sorted, a certain little girl sorting them by type, then size, then finally settling on alphabetically. Then, Johnny trading "anything you want in my pile, even milk duds" for a pumpkin donut flavored laffy taffy, and then every time William found a KitKat, he'd say, "ANUDDER ONE!?" All this while Matthew watched in his crib until he fell asleep.
I remember the pure exhaustion as children dragged their sore feet to their beds, while their Mom and Dad confiscated their candy to pull out taxes that we enjoyed while we cuddled and watched a show together with the kids asleep. 
My crowning moment of every Halloween is the time I get to spend with John.  I think about that on November 1st. I think about his amused face as he walks the kids to the doors, and talks about hometowns, big foot, and politics with the other parents. I think about his smile while he humors me and my themed dinners, and how he brings me back down to earth when I get too worked up about making everything perfect. I think about how he fixed the van without having any clue how to when he started. I think about dumping out Matthew's candy to find a flower he picked for me along our trick or treating route. I think about how great it is that I get to go home with him every night and we get to laugh about all our favorite kid moments and spend time together eating their candy. Haha.
Yes, it was a good day with good memories. 
But on the morn of November 1st, it feels so foreign and the wilting bats on my walls and the smiling witch suddenly become clutter of a distant memory and I get all excited for this new turned page.  It is the holidays. It is time for Thanksgiving- a time for gratitude and family and autumn harvest and gosh, I love that.  So, I get to spend my November 1st switching gears, pulling out the gratitude poster and preparing my family for our next great venture, all while yesterday's adventures still keep me smiling and feeling all nostalgic. 

In other news....I think I am making breakfast for dinner tonight because, hello- breakfast for dinner.





Coming home from School

A Vampire, Iron Man, "Hoek", and a Tiger

Swampy graveyard, bloody bone (biscuits), dead man's toes, Frankenstein's brains.


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