My mother never met a holiday she didn’t like. Our house was decked to the nines for each and every one. Bunnies adorned every surface at Easter, flags were furled for the 4th of July, and well, you can just imagine Christmas. (A cache of Mom's elves still find their way to our staircase every year.) Halloween was no different. Ghosts in the garden. Witches flying through the trees. And so in the spirit of the holiday and a nod to my DNA I've dragged out the pumpkins - the big spider web and the orange and black candy buckets.
And yet, it reminds me how different this special holiday is without a kid in the house. Last weekend, my husband and I came upon a Halloween parade. The teeny angels and twin butterflies and Wizard of Oz families made me pine for those days when we really celebrated. When she was young a tradition emerged with our daughter: We created costumes for Halloween that then translated to a theme for her birthday party a month later. Butterflies and angels and mermaids; Harry Potter, a Japanese geisha, a snowflake gave us great joy in the making and the wearing. On the big night, we banded with the neighborhood kids, trick-or-treated the circuit, and of course, counted and color-coded the candy at the end of the night.
Now, she’s grown and out of the house. And so, as we head into this later stage of life, we must do something really scary...adapt. We post our pumpkins in the fall, but without a little one to help, we've lost the urge for carving. The decorations are a little less elaborate. And now that the small stream of neighborhood trick-or-treaters has slowed to a trickle, I get nostalgic for those glory days.
So I’m packing up my witches' hat, and heading out for a Halloween weekend with my girlfriends. We’ll mix up some fun brews (Witches Brew-Bitches Brew? Harvest Moontini?) And we’ll get over the scary notion of getting older…we just find new ways to celebrate. Hey, we might even go trick-or-treating!