We had an odd Halloween in the O’Hara household – one I didn’t see coming, even though it might only have been predicted for the last fourteen years. I mean, kids do tend to grow up and become independent. They hit the stage where they tolerate their parental units for the basics, like food, clothing allowances and X-box games. It’s just that somehow I didn’t expect Oct. 31 to come and go without one child donning a costume or plotting to maximize the candy haul.
That’s what happened last night, though. Frank was at a sleepover with a friend and Molly worked, then came home to put her nose in a physiology text for the evening.
So the ToolMaster and I spoke of life after kids and tried to sound enthusiastic. We were extra perky at the door, with the princesses and Harry Potters and the bumblebees. We handed out more candy than normal. We stretched our cheeks in wiiide smiles and laughed gleefully and with full heart.
But at a certain point in the evening I may have added some Bailey’s to my decaf and smelled pipe smoke wafting up from the basement.
Now understand the ToolMaster doesn’t smoke, but his dad did. The year we lost my father-in-law, my husband tracked down the exact mixture of pipe tobacco he associates with his childhood home. I always know when he’s feeling tender or nostalgic; he uses it like incense.
Sentimentality aside, I figure we had no more than thirty kids for the evening. We have enough candy left to put on five pounds apiece – a source of immense joy to Frank when he called specifically to ask. I guess some things haven’t yet changed.
Oh, and I did have one moment of pure genius, if I say so myself. It was prompted by the sight of the Christmas decorations and gift certificates in the stores. You’ve seen them too, I’m sure. Alberta can’t be the only place they retailers get a jump on the seasons.
What do you think of my proposed tree decorations? With the artificial trees most of us have these days, we could decorate once and have it work from mid October right until New Years. Efficient, yes? Maybe the ultrasonic mister could add a little ambience to the nativity scene we put on the piano. Put some extra curl in Mary’s hair for a change.
How about you? How was your evening? Did you get a lot of kids? What was the best costume you saw all night?