I am not the Halloween mother I thought I would be. I have not yet made a single homemade costume based on our family's collective imagination. This year, unlike last, I only pondered this for a millisecond.
Maybe I will make costumes, someday. Until then, we will trade folded bills for itchy, poorly made costumes that originated in the imagination of some corporate entity. Because some things just have to give.
So much of mothering is not what I thought it would be. This is a good and a bad thing, of course. I knew it would be hard. I didn't know that some days that hardness would settle into my stomach, turning it to stone and making me fear both what I've become and what damage I've already done.
I knew I would love them. I didn't know my love for them would be so all consuming that simply watching a beloved child walk away from me in a Halloween costume could reduce me to joyful tears.
I knew I would take a million pictures of them. I didn't quite understand how many poor ones I would take.
(Let us stop for a moment and ponder the olden days, when taking pictures meant FILM and DEVELOPING and the inability to know the quality of the picture you've taken for WEEKS or at least hours. And let us give thanks for the forgiving and immediate nature of digital cameras. AMEN.)
For some reason, Halloween strikes me every year, the way some holidays do. It marks time, this candy-filled, costumed day that comes once a year. Remember when toddler Z sweated herself into a stupor because we were too dim to realize our little bee was too hot?
Remember when I was newly pregnant with E and felt every inch the Halloween ghoul?
Remember when Z and E were "Cinderella" and "her fairy godmother" and we bought cheap costumes and couldn't get a good picture and ate too much candy and sat outside in the sun on the dining chairs and laughed?
Yes. I remember.