We had the most fantastic Halloween ever this year. After two and a half years in Las Vegas, I’ve finally managed to drum up some friends and one of them (whose girls go to school with Sienna) invited us to go trick-or-treating with them, since trick-or-treating in an apartment complex is a total bummer. We were thrilled, of course, since the last two Halloweens have been a bust. Sienna asked me at least ten times every hour in the four days leading up to Halloween when we were going to go see Diora (her friend). Finally the big day arrived, and we went to their house early to have yummy snacks and wine.
It was really great to be able to sit with other adults while the kids ran wild and drink wine and just talk. I’ve missed that sort of companionship since leaving Texas, but it’s not until I get to experience it again that I realize just how keenly I miss it. There’s something about hanging out with other parents and all the kids just going crazy in the background that can’t be replicated over the phone or on facebook. It’s like having a taste, just for a few hours, of a community that we in this modern age have lost. It’s a tragic loss, in my opinion, and makes the experience of parenthood and motherhood in particular a much lonelier and more difficult road, so those few times when we get to spend time with another couple and their kids are all the more precious for it being a rare occasion.
Our kids are all pretty close in age, too, which made trick-or-treating pretty great.
|Charlotte the Dragon and Giada the Strawberry Fairy|
|Diora the Peacock and Sienna the Ninja|
|Liam the Monkey, in his very manly third-hand pink carseat|
|Viviana the Ladybug|
|And they’re off!|
My friend Kari’s neighborhood had blocked off a street for kids to trick-or-treat on, and they had a hayride, a movie screen playing It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and a bouncehouse (which unfortunately collapsed while children were in it…no one was hurt but everyone was crying). About fifteen minutes after we left the house, Kari’s husband pulled a few beers out from under the stroller and I at once realized what Halloween had been missing all these years.
The only really unfortunate part of Halloween happened the next day. Kari makes the best chocolate chip cookies ever. They are the chocolate chip cookies I’ve dreamed of my whole life and never found or created. She sent us home with a bag of them and a bunch of equally incredible pumpkin bread ghosts with cream cheese frosting…and I ate them all. Well, I left a few for Christopher. And it was wonderful…until the next morning.
After about three weeks of strictly limited sugar intake, I seriously felt hungover the next day. I had no idea sugar could affect me so profoundly. I wanted to die, and the Ogre actually sent me back to bed for two hours while he watched the kids (he’s the best). Now I’m even more committed to this no-sugar thing, though, so all in all it was a good thing. And oh man, those cookies were so good. It was totally worth it.
On a slightly related note, I have lots to be grateful for this week. Not only do I have friends to hang out with, healthy children, and a great husband, but I also got an unexpected and fortuitous email this morning. The Ogre and I have been trying to figure out how we’re going to afford Christmas this year, since we not only have our three kids and each other but also two nephews, a niece, a godson and goddaughter (and the Ogre has another goddaughter), parents and various and sundry siblings and siblings-in-law. The Ogre’s been looking for seasonal work opportunities for either of us but so far we’ve come up empty-handed. Then this morning I got an email from the friend of a guy I had done some editing work for, asking me to edit his dissertation! I’m hoping that will give us at least $200 that we can (hopefully) set aside for Christmas presents. All this good fortune almost makes up for my broken toe.