Halloween is undoubtably my most favorite secular (Wiccan’s, please accept my threefold apology…) holiday!!!! Typically I begin gearing up for this fun-filled night of merriment and make believe months in advance by researching costumes, crazy artistic make-up, creating decorations and lawn props, and decorating my house in a theme that borders on a special Halloween episode of Hoarders!
But this year, my heart just wasn’t in the spirit of shall we say, the spirits? I didn’t even decorate my house until almost two weeks before the 31st (before moving to a new city November of last year my old neighbors probably would have called the police to see if I was still breathing or they may have been elated, depends on the neighbor).
Part of the trouble has been, my heart is in a different state right now, I’m grieving from afar for a friend that recently lost a child, I’m really busy with my work and most importantly my wonderful, amazing daughters are outgrowing my child-like wonder for all things spooky!
I didn’t even buy a real pumpkin this year! Seriously! How can I say I love Halloween and I didn’t even carve a Jack-O-Lantern?????? Ever since reading the Littlest Pumpkin I have felt it my sworn Halloween duty to rescue the last, ugliest, most misshapen pumpkin in the patch on Halloween. This year I let a poor, sad pumpkin down!
Being a single mom of two new teenage girls is really hard, especially on Halloween. I used to love discovering their costumes with them. Now, because they wear “Junior” sizes almost every female costume starts with words like sexy, or minx, or hot! Really? Can’t they just wear paper bags? Somehow those would probably look suggestive too!
The costume hunting did turn out ok though as one was a ninja (my absolute all time favorite and I’m going on a diet just so I can wear it myself costume and the other was well I guess I’m not sure, maybe she was scary spice?…).
Usually I get to dress up for handing out the candy but this year I was given rules! No dressing up, no causing embarrassment, just be boring plain old vanilla ice cream (and for anyone that knows me, I am definitely no Stepford Wife, well, I’m also not a wife anymore either, lol). So I was boring mom…I did have a sweet Halloween play list going though (I got several compliments and not just from adults either).
Strangely enough, I had several new neighbors stopping by prior to the onslaught of trick or treaters sharing with me advice on how to hand out trick or treat candy (really, should have been a clue)… 1. Don’t open my door (how do you hand out candy and not open your door?), 2. Stay outside, 3. Use a fire pit to keep warm (I don’t have a fire pit??? So I did the next best thing and hooked up my space heater).
I was boring, ready and well prepared, outside, with my space heater and 10 bags of candy (starting and ending with giving one piece per child)! Guess what my neighbors DIDN’T TELL ME???? They didn’t tell me I live on trick or treat street and should expect anywhere from 200 kids on a slow night to upwards of 400!!!!!!! I ran out of 10 bags of candy in 35 minutes!!!!!! Did I say I only gave out 1 piece of candy per trick-or-treater??
So, now here I am, plain old vanilla, don’t embarrass the children mom running out of candy. Dear Lord, I was horrified! And, worried about the retribution from angry trick or treaters! And, then comes the first unexpected treat of the night!
As I’m hastily trying to make my escape with empty candy bowl, wet blanket and space heater in hand, up the driveway come 4 strapping teenage boys dressed in I don’t know what because I tried not to look up (if I can’t see you then you can’t see me right?). I profusely apologize for running out of candy. Instead of the expected grumbling and bad mouthing they say “that’s ok, Happy Halloween” and then they ask, “do you need any help?” What???
Good thing my jaw is attached because it would have hurt hitting the pavement! Really? Whomever is raising those boys in 2014 is doing one heck of a great job and I salute those parents! The crazy thing is this happened two more times before I got inside and the lights turned off, all with practically the same well wishes and offers to help. My faith in adolescents is renewed!!!
The funny trick part about Halloween Night was, it really was and still is funny, was that all of my neighbors recognized I was new and they were well aware I would run out of candy. In fact, as a couple of parents on my street walked by with their kids I apologized to them also and they just giggled this knowing laugh and said welcome to the neighborhood! Apparently it’s a right of passage on Summit Drive to experience your first Halloween by running out of candy. I did ask one of my neighbors that I know well why they didn’t tell me how many kids would show up. Their response? “You didn’t ask.” Guess what, I didn’t. Lesson learned little miss can’t be wrong!
So, after getting myself together I decided to come out of my shell a bit and wander down the street to the amazing Halloween house known as the “chain saw guys.” Long story short… It’s a family and their friends who spend weeks doing up the house and their garage like a theme from the movie Halloween with a city wide reputation for Halloween awesomeness.
They all have chainsaws, less the chain part and scare the bejeebers out of most adults and a good amount of kids too. To soothe the fears of parents they offer a place to sit and a beverage (the micro-brewery kind) while the kids can then make the coolest things with glow sticks, light up wands and swords, which they get to keep, and they also give out huge candy bars! Where were these people when I was a kid???
Their own children are in college now and they actually came home for the hallowed and haunting festivities. This may not sound like a big deal but since most of them go to OU, home of the biggest college Halloween party in Ohio, it’s a big deal and a testimony to this family and the importance of family, friends and traditions.
So, I moseyed on down to the chain saw house and introduced myself as being “new” on the street (1 year next week) and my first Halloween on Summit Drive. I also quickly let them know I ran out of candy. After we all laughed and I became known as the newbie I made some really cool new friends who even came by today to help me take down (IN THE SNOW) what lame decorations I had put up.
So, while my heart was more haunted than haunting this Halloween and I’m learning that being the mom of teenagers is much harder than being the mom of 10 and 12 year olds, what I really learned this year is that kids can surprise you, traditions, family and friends are rock solid foundations, and new neighbors can really lift your spirits!
And by the way, My teenage Ninja and Spice girl? Yes, they trick or treated with their friends and yes, they were at the chain saw house (after I was). The Best part of Halloween 2014? The girls were home with me, their plain old vanilla ice cream mom, 15 minutes after trick or treat was over to show me their loot and share their night with me! So, maybe I can handle being plain old vanilla. Because when you combine plain old vanilla with two amazing young women you don’t get plain, you get a Sundae!