It was just a typical Halloween at our house. The sound of the October breeze was gently blowing through the trees in the backyard while my mom stood tending to two pots on the stove. One of our traditional family Halloween chili dinner, the other of boiling blood. While the smells of chili and blood wafted past the half-eaten box donut holes and a jar of brains, Ellie and Chloe started to assemble their Halloween costumes and prep their trick-or-treating buckets. My brother, Dad, and I were doing our final checks. Mics, speakers, cameras, blood, smoke, it was all ready. The Shining Theme song could be heard outside. Like a wolf howl’s to the moon, this was a call to the neighborhood that Halloween was about to begin. At the first sight of trick-or-treaters on the streets, my dad put the headphones on, stepped up to the mic and flipped a switch marked “Melvin.” The wizard was in place behind the curtain and ready to give it life. The blue glow of the light indicated the mic was live, Halloween had started. “Hey kid, come on up and talk to Melvin.”
Today you are three! You still think you are two, and you insist that five is after three, but only in regards to your age. You also insist that “Chloe” starts with an “E.” We’ll work on it. This is going to be your year. I can feel it.
Ah, Halloween, that time of year when I try to reconstruct my own magical childhood memories and force them on my kids. I’m aware there is a big difference between carrying on traditions and trying to recreate and relive a memory. And I think I’ve been blurring the line between these two ideas. I know, this sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it? Yes, that’s right; I did this last year, and the year before, and the year before that. Oh, and at Christmas, and birthday parties, and just about any other special event. You think I would learn.
Our big, family Thanksgiving meal is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving at my parent’s house. This leaves our actual Thanksgiving day open to do different things. We’vehad dinner with friends before, watched the parade in downtown Detroit, and even spent it at Denny’s. But this year, we were going to host friends at our house for the first time. I was going to make the whole deal. Turkey (I decided on a chicken because it was just us four adults), stuffing, Brussels sprouts, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, etc. I even tested dessert recipes so everything would be fantastic. It was going to be my crowning achievement and induction into the ‘club.’ But little did I know, the cards were stacked against me.
Wow, Chloe is a year old! Where has the year gone? I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already. When Ellie’s first birthday came around, I was ready. I ready for her to be one. I was ready for the next step. Her first year did not go by fast and her birthday was as much of a celebration for us surviving it as it was for her becoming one. But for Chloe, just as this post is late, I’ve felt behind this whole year.