Moms Columns & Blogs

Halloween

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The tang of smoke from a nearby bonfire drifts on the crisp air…  A few lonely leaves rustle on the breeze at the edge of the driveway…  I stand here, alone, watching the taillights glow red in the distance…  I close my eyes for a moment, the smell and sound carrying me back across time to our life before…  

Halloween was always a challenging day for me.  I hated spending money on three costumes every year that may as well been labeled ‘disposable’; nine out of ten ripped to pieces after the single wearing.  The kids and I frequently fought over their selections.  Brian’s choices were mostly grotesque and gory; Beth and Grace’s were skimpy and way too revealing.  If we bought early, they wanted to wear them and ‘practice’; if we waited, only ‘ugly’ and expensive ones remained.  Finding common ground was tough, especially as they got older…  

While the kids were young, John would escort them through the neighborhood; I stayed home to give out our candy.  He always teased them by insisting he got a cut of their haul as payment for protective and supervisory services, and of course, all of his walking...  As for the candy, they all had an opinion…  They collectively insisted I buy only the ‘good stuff’; however, the definition of ‘good’ varied depending upon who you asked at any given moment.  John only wanted chocolate, preferably miniature Almond Joys or Snickers; he had dibs on all leftovers.  Over the years the kids generally preferred sour and tangy: Charms Blow Pops, Warheads, Skittles, SweeTarts, and gum of any sort.  It was funny to watch them sort their bounty, toss rejects to their daddy, and trade with each other…  After about a week they argued over what was left, what was fair, and who took what from whom…  I hoped they brushed their teeth every night like they said…  

As our kids got older, they ventured out with friends, no longer wanting or needing a ‘bought’ costume; they created their own from old uniforms or borrowed masks.  They took off with our pillowcases, guaranteeing to bring them home unharmed...  Over the years, our disagreements evolved…like what was the appropriate age at which to ‘retire’ from trick or treating and the never-ending battle of the curfews…  Last Halloween Brian maintained his routine of the past couple of years, heading off with the guys to roam around Windrow…Beth continued her pattern of dress-up and work at The Graduate…and Grace was out with friends as well…  For the second consecutive year, we had no trick or treaters; in this neighborhood the kids are older, the driveways longer and darker…  

I have since discovered Brian really wasn’t collecting candy; it was merely an excuse to run off for an extended period with friends for a weeknight party.  Many of them stopped by earlier; I think they are missing Brian more today than they usually do.  Their memories of last Halloween are quite specific and vivid…and close at heart… 

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Brian was a ringleader and would have been the first one on the road tonight…  As the girls left this evening, going their own way, I’m certain their plans are along the same lines of what he would have done…  I can only extract promises and trust they will keep them…  I will exhale with relief when they return home safely and give thanks for another first survived…

Wishing you hope…TG  

If you would like a ‘Remember Brian’ bracelet and you haven’t been able to reach me previously, please send your request and mailing address to rememberbrian@mindspring.com . 

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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