Halloween, which used to be one of my very favorite holidays, has become bittersweet. Several years ago it became clear to me that it would be a very long time before we would be strolling house-to-house trick-or-treating with our son. Calvin can only walk very short distances holding our hands, that is, when he is willing. He is unable to hold a bag, say “trick or treat”, or eat candy, much less have any awareness or any understanding that there is such a thing as Halloween.

In an effort to enjoy Halloween I indulge myself in a few simple ways. I carve a pumpkin and adorn our stoop with several glow-in-the-dark skeletons. Each year I scour the Salvation Army to see what miscellaneous items I can put together for Calvin’s costume. Past Halloweens we have dressed him as a jack-o-lantern, a girl, a sheriff and a man-witch. This year he went to school as a colorful clown. To be honest, I struggle with whether to dress him up at all. I don’t intend to be mean spirited, but it feels a bit like dressing up our dog. Calvin is so completely oblivious. However, in his various costumes, Calvin brings smiles to his friends, teachers and even his bus driver, so I carry on.

I look forward to tonight when, in my black witch getup, I’ll pass out candy to all of the cute little monsters that come knocking at our door. Inevitably, like every year, I’ll see one or two kids who steal my heart and my eyes will well up with tears of delight and sorrow. All that candy and it’s still bittersweet.

photo by Michael Kolster

No comments:

Post a Comment