Oh, the sun comes up looking promising and all, but we all know what's coming. That time of the year when we are shamelessly stripped of our parental masks, where our unpreparedness; indeed our total lack of attentiveness to the interests of our future generation are laid bare to the scrutiny of all.
Halloween. Don't get me wrong. I love candy, community, and walking around in the autumn with my loved ones. I'm even okay with the whole concept of begging. But the costume thing is a personal affront to me on more than one level. We have enough creative costuming in our tickle trunk downstairs to outfit most of our small town... BUT. Somehow at halloween the children have been brainwashed (I like to blame other school children) to believe that you MUST visit a retail facility of some sort and purchase things in order for halloween to have any meaning. This is fundamental for the proper collection of enamel erroding materials, and the impending sorting of the suckers, and the yucky blackish-brown orange-wrapped halloween candy (my favourite) from those itty bitty nummy mini chocolate bars.
To wear some OLD RAG from the basement?! Shocking indeed.
Every year is the same. I flip the calendar page, grateful to have navigated my way through the many starts and stops of September. October's page shows up in mocking orange. (why not just make a musical calendar while you're at it, and start yelling at me the moment I've licked Thanksgiving's sweet potatoe casserole off my lips?) Oh, I'm aware that its coming, and I know the children will have big ideas. But every year, I give denial another chance.
Well, 2006 appears to have the same basic pattern as all the halloweens preceding it. This morning over hurriedly prepared school lunches and unsigned homework, the kids reminded me of my obligations . To be a proper mother, I must prepare Jane's "Queen" banner- And Soon. Micah is still waiting for his "all black suit" (I don't think either he or I know what it's supposed to be, and I know I"M NOT ASKING). "Well", I say, stalling... "I guess we'll have to find something this weekend".
"FIND SOMETHING ?" he is genuinely shocked. "Don't you have some black fabric mom? You could JUST make me an all black suit, then we could JUST buy a mask!".
Brilliant, I think. I'm sure I'll make the time to design a black body suit, IN MY SPARE TIME. Maybe between snack and "gee-the-weather-is-nice-I-really-ought-to-take-down-the -trampoline-and-do-something-about-all-those-leaves" time. I'm sure the pre-schoolers would understand.
At least I'm sure of what I'm NOT going as this halloween: everyone's dream mother.