Don’t mind me, I’m just getting all sentimental today, over frackin’ Halloween. I know, WTF? Crazy!
But there’s a reason for my sniffling. And it’s not a hormone imbalance or mentalpause. No, it’s because I realized today how much my life is moving on. How I’ve grown older, in spite of my best intentions, and life is so different now.
And Halloween tells the tale with this timeline:
1969 – I was 5. My earliest Halloween memory. My parents took me to selected houses to trick or treat. But the big treat was finally getting to go to downtown Dandridge to see the outhouse that the wise-ass teen boys always stole and placed in the middle of the main intersection at the courthouse. There was an old man trying to use it, I remember his whiskery face peeping out as we drove by.
1972-1980 – Growing up years – trick or treated entire blocks of city neighborhoods, lived for huge candy haul. Never knew what Almond Joy or Mounds tasted like because our Mom told us they were poison and she threw them away. Did I mention that my Mom sometimes was less than honest? Or that her breath always smelled suspiciously like coconut all the way through Thanksgiving?
1982-1995 – The Single Years – Halloween meant drinking, bars, walk of shame costumes (Posterboard Life Saver, Lick Me written on it), and lots of single fun. Halloween isn’t the same without fluorescent shooters, is it?
1995-2004 – The First Marriage Years – Halloween meant parties with our friends, still costumed, but a little calmer, and nobody woke up with fluorescent paint in strange places. Sometimes the holiday even meant kids too, even though we had none of our own. But we did enjoy seeing the kids and handing out candy. Even if we preferred Halloween Horror Nights over Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween.
And that gets us to today… and my tears over the witch hats… because today, as we get ready for another Halloween, I realized that Halloween for me has changed yet again. It’s about the kids. Yes, I confess, I really love to see the little ghosts and goblins, the Princesses and Incredible Hulks, and the occasional sullen Teen dressed as himself, on a walk of shame with his younger siblings as they come to my house. I love decorating outside, being the house that the kids are staring at, because they just know that anybody that decorates like that has to give out good candy.
But this year will be different. This year on Halloween I’ll have to miss out on all that preciousness because this year we’ll be in Chattanooga, watching Miss C cheer in her last high school football game ever. Because Webb closes their season that night and we wouldn’t miss it for the world. The witches and goblins will be okay without me this year. This is the end of an era. And that realization also showed me the next evolution of Halloween that’s waiting for me right around the circle of life. Today I realized that within the next ten years or so I’ll probably be watching my grandchild trick or treat. I’ll be GrandMissy and that’ll be my little witch or ghost that I’ll be watching march up the sidewalk. And that’s when I cried. From joy. From thanks. Because life is so full and it’s moving so fast. It’s so good but so bittersweet.
Grab it tight with both hands! It’s one hell of a ride!