I suppose I'll begin this post back in the 80s somewhere. While I remember dressing up (as Princess Leia for several years in a row) and trolling the neighborhood for candy, I also seem to remember that this wasn't an every-year occasion. Sometimes, we'd just drive over to Grandpa's house and get candy and nickels from him and have powdered donuts and cider. At least those are the memories I have manufactured for myself; the reality may have been very different. I don't have very detailed recall about a lot of my childhood. My husband did not go out Trick-or-Treating often at all, if ever. He's not here at present for me to ask.
All that to say that Trick-or-Treating is not very important for us. We didn't do it very often; our kids probably won't, either. We don't even like getting dressed up: for an annual Halloween party we attend, I always try to think of a pun-type costume that allows me to wear normal clothes: one year, I was a Spice Girl, with spice jars strung in a necklace around my neck. Last year, I went as a Schizophrenic. I plastered normal clothes with dozens of different nametags. Done. Pass the candy corn.
This year was especially different. I will elaborate in a later post, but between Abe going up to his parents' house last week to do chores and the sickness that pervaded our house (Ruby may or may not have had H1N1), we figured it would be to everyone's advantage if we opted out of the Annual Halloween Party. Instead, we stayed home and had our own party. It was the best.
It has been a long week. We were sick, as I mentioned, and most nights, Abe didn't get home until after the kids had gone to bed. We hadn't been together as a family for a long, long time, and we desperately needed to. So on Halloween, we put Ruby to bed, covered the coffee table with plates and bowls of yummy things like chicken wings, tortilla chips and spinach artichoke dip, popcorn, donuts, cider, and heaps of candy, put in a movie and gorged ourselves silly. Then we cuddled up in blankets until the movie was over. The kids loved being able to eat all of the candy and junk they wanted to, they loved being allowed to eat in the living room, and we all loved just being in the same place at the same time.
It was nothing profound--just snacks and a movie--but at one point, snuggled in the recliner next to my little boy and looking across the room at my husband snuggled on the couch with his baby girl, I got a little teary-eyed at the beauty of it, of just enjoying being next to each other. I cannot imagine how life gets any better than that. I thought about taking a picture, but it was one of those moments where you're almost afraid to breathe and risk spoiling things; I was enjoying our family moment and I didn't want to break the spell. So I took lots of mental snapshots, and I will have those forever. It was a happy Halloween.