Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Trick or Treat
Halloween in Utah is weird, especially when it falls on a Sunday. And maybe it's weird in other states as well, but I don't recall it being an issue to trick-or-treat in Wyoming on a Sunday, but then again, my memory is a little fuzzy and I was probably more preoccupied with candy at the time. Anyway, every 6 years or so, there is a question about whether to go out on Saturday, or on Sunday, or both. You don't want to look too greedy (oh, who am I kidding?) but you also don't want to look like an idiot, if you are out there, and NO ONE is handing out candy. I know some rather mean-spirited people who refused to give out candy on Saturday, simply out of principle. I also know some people who didn't cater to those who waited until Sunday. All I can say is, thank goodness Halloween will be on Monday next year, so we won't have to worry about it.
But I digress. We were greedy buggers this year, so Penny went trick-or-treating on Saturday with her cousins, and then I took her around our neighborhood on Sunday. Saturday was pretty much a repeat of last year, with Penny sleeping over with her Aunt, Uncle and cousins (plural, now), while Britt and I went to a grown-up party. The two of us. And then we went home. Together. Yep.
Saturday it rained buckets, but Isabelle and Penny were undeterred:
Then Sunday, I told Penny we could go out again after dinner. While I was doing dishes and cooking (I know that doesn't seem like correct order of action, but that's how things are done around here), I told her to keep an eye out for any trick-or-treaters, so she could give them candy. She waited expectantly by the door, so patiently, occasionally calling out that no one was coming. After the third or fourth time she made this observation, Britt went downstairs, raided the costume box (yes, we have one of those), and came up wearing a pirate hat. He went out the side door, so Penny wouldn't see him, came up the path and knocked on the door. Penny was startled, but recognized him immediately as her Daddy, the Pirate. She laughed and gave him candy, and said, "Happy Halloween!"
Then he came back in and went downstairs, and repeated this five more times wearing different costumes. Penny was thrilled. And my heart sang. I like it when it does that.
After dinner, Penny donned her costume, declared it was "her turn," and we went out to see what was going on in our neighborhood. And it was pretty quiet out there. Every couple of houses had a porch light on or the universal beacon of lit pumpkins, so we made a few stops. Most neighbors were dazzled by Penny, the magical fairy princess, and insisted she take extra candy. And then we made the ill-fated stop at the house with the scary clown.
Oh, if only I had known a teenager wearing a demented clown costume was going to answer that door. Penny was positively freaked. And the low, muffled cackling emanating from the rubber clown mask didn't help. I pried my quaking toddler from my leg, thanked the clown and hurried down the block, explaining to a very worried Penny that the clown was just a guy! Wearing a costume! For Halloween! Isn't Halloween fun?
At the next house, a little boy in pajamas (he had gone out on Saturday) answered the door and informed us we were only his 6th visitors. Penny immediately told him about the clown, as he seemed a worthy confidant. Then he warned us against going to the house across the street, where we might get "buzzed." Not wanting to find out what that meant, we decided to pack it in.
And now, the candy negotiations have begun. No, you can't have candy before dinner. No, you can't have more M&Ms, it's time to brush your teeth. And so on. Also, there's candy in my house, which is not a good idea. We need to come up with a better idea for the "treat" part.
I always get a little depressed after Halloween, because it marks the start of the long winter of my discontent. It gets darker and colder, Britt will be working ungodly hours, and I'm not ready to think about Christmas, even though there was already Christmas candy in the Halloween candy aisle at the store.
But I shan't dwell on that right now. For now I will think about how much Penny likes to dress up and dance around the house and how she tells me she loves me every day, "I wub you, Mama." And love like that can get me through any long, cold winter.