Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Might and Magic of (a parent's) Halloween

To me, this time of year is chilly mornings and wood smoke, thunder storms and hot apple cider (and an assortment of apple-everythings left over from a fun-filled, calorie-packed, walk-til-you-drop, craft-shopping, road-trip-extravaganza to Apple Hill).  I love summer, Independence Day is always a treat, especially this year after a day with dear friends and a surreal drive home on the 110 with continuous fireworks bursting on either side as if celebrating the Season of Us! 

But for me it's fall, or autumn if you're in that sort of mood, and the Halloween magic of October that sets the holiday season in motion.  Halloween is such a unique holiday in its diversity of expressions and dress, and it's the only one I can think of where we cooperate en masse to celebrate -- truly selflessly -- with a massive host of complete strangers.

And because of that excitement and energy, not to mention the massive scope of such a start to what promises to be a busy holiday season, my to-do lists have lengthened by half and my time shortened by at least as much.  Writing, drawing, coloring, and keeping life in general going must now compete with costume making, pumpkin carving, and not-for-the-faint-hearted baking, cooking, treat-making, and decorating.  And throw in all this election stuff on top -- it makes for tired, overwhelmed, and (if you're like me) countless opportunities to feel as if you're falling behind faster than you can say "Boo!"

Well, I take a lesson from Jack Skellington, the most recent obsession for my preschool twins.  For those of you who've yet to see The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack, the very successful Pumpkin King gets a bit ahead of himself and decides to take over Christmas, adding a few Halloweeny improvements here and there.  Right or wrong, Jack is a skeleton of action!  He embraces nightmare-long to-do lists (and nightmares in general) with an enthusiasm and lipless smile that would (and does) raise the dead.

So for those of you who, like me, will be up until 3am every night so your daughter can be a pink spider kitty with a Minnie-Mouse Bow next to her twin sister, the Blue Web (also with all-essential Minnie Mouse bow), I say enjoy!  We only get to be this exhausted for a shocking few years.  Sleep, shmeep.  Be a skeleton of action!

And when you do clean your pumpkins and spend the better part of an hour painstakingly separating the seeds from goo so you can roast them tomorrow, assuming the appliance guy comes and can fix the oven, don't then try to walk both slippery glass bowls back to the kitchen across the hard-to-clean carpet.  Not two bowls at once.  And do wash your hands.  Or spend another painstaking hour re-collecting and cleaning said seeds, along with the carpet and bowls and walls and you.  Forget for a moment that ever-growing to-do list and make two trips!  

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