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October 30th, 2010

Halloween Memories

This was written the day after Halloween 2005 when OSFO was 8 and Teen Spirit was 14.

Halloween morning 2005, the kids popped out of bed early, ready for their breakfast candy. “Stop stealing from the trick or treat bowl. That’s for later,” Hepcat bellowed. Even Teen Spirit, who is historically difficult to rouse in the morning, was up and ready for high school in record time, his pockets stuffed with Hershey’s kisses.

The Oh So Feisty One packed her cowgirl chaps in her pink backpack. “Just in case my teacher lets us put on our costumes.” This was unlikely because her school prohibits any recognition of Halloween in sensitivity to the children whose religious beliefs prevent them from participating.

Smartmom tried to get some work done Monday but by 2 p.m, she surrendered to the reality that Monday afternoon and evening were for one thing and one thing only: Halloween.

First crisis of the day was the case of the missing cowboy hat: OSFO searched the apartment high and low. Smartmom finally unearthed it underneath Teen Spirit’s bed.

Second crisis: Teen Spirit needed a shirt for his impromptu pirate costume. “You can wear this black shirt of Dad’s.” Smartmom told him. “No he can’t,” Hepcat screamed from the living room. “That’s my special shirt.”

“it’s alright, mom,” Teen Spirit told Smartmom ever-attentive to Hepcat’s moods.

They did manage to find a billowy white shirt in the closet. Teen Spirit strapped on his belt, plastic sword, and the pirate hat he’d purchased at Rite Aid, ready to join a band of roving teenage pirates who were waiting downstairs.


Trick or Treating on Seventh Avenue, OSFO was, characteristically, driven to procure as much candy as she could possibly fit into her shopping bag. They were joined by Ducky (age 1), who was dressed in a zip-up bunny costume with little paw gloves and a cloth carrot.

Her first Halloween ever – god knows what Ducky was thinking. Big brown eyes open wide, she inhaled the crazy costumed scene from her stroller.

The group went back to Groovy Aunt’s for some apartment-building style trick or treating. Volume is what that’s all about. “Let’s see,” OSFO calculated. “They’ve got six floors and eight apartments on each floor…”

OSFO hasn’t learned her multiplication tables yet, but still, that’s a lot of candy.

Third Crisis: OSFO developed Halloween fatigue mixed with an acute case of “not being the center of attention.”

That darn baby in that darn bunny suit: Ducky was sucking all the attention out of the room with a straw. OSFO ripped off her cowgirl chaps and flung her Payless cowgirl boots across the living room and staged a a world-class snitsky. Arms tightly crossed, she faced a wall and snarled. The only remedy: a large does of alone time.

Rejuvenated by a few minutes of quiet and three mini Twix bars, OSFO was ready for a little trick or treating and the Halloween parade. “The houses with the Jack-O-lanterns are the ones with the candy,” she said with the assuredness of a seasoned navigator. Racing up and down the brownstone stoops, she rang on door bells and filled her bag with more candy.

Crisis number four: By the time they got to the parade, it was over. The streets were filled with teenagers. Teen Spirit was spotted in front of Starbucks with a can of shaving cream – horror of horrors. Strange to say, with all her worries about sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, Smartmom never once imagined he’d be a shaving cream trickster.

Live and learn. Hepcat trailed Teen Spirit and the teenage pirates to Barnes and Noble and insisted that he be home by nine.

Before bedtime, OSFO weighed her Halloween treat bag on the bathroom scale: “I’ve got five pounds of candy. Don’t anybody touch it,” she screamed and then proceeded to stash it in her secret hide-a-way.

Halloween Crisis number five: The day after Halloween, Teen Spirit couldn’t keep his eyes open during English class. He fell asleep on his desk. Smartmom hopes he didn’t snore. Now that would be very distracting.

How was your Halloween?

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