Category Archives: Halloween

Our Kryptonite

Today, Dylan’s having a Halloween parade at school. They’re supposed to dress up as a character from a book and bring the book to school for writing and reading projects. Of course, I thought it would be awesome if Dylan dressed up like Pete the Cat, Flat Stanley, or Fly Guy so I could flex my Crafty Mama muscles. Of course, Dylan didn’t think any of those ideas were awesome at all. He’s wearing his Man of Steel costume because we have a book about Superman.  (Of course.)

Man of Steel

Anyway, the kids get to wear costumes to school, and at 1pm, they’ll parade around the school property while parents line the street and cheer. Standing in the parking lot at school in the middle of the day to watch my child run around in a Halloween costume is one of the perks of being a stay-at-home mom (or, in my case, a still-at-home mom. But make no mistake. It’s also a requirement. Let’s face it, stay-at-home moms are supposed to be at the Halloween parade.

At about 10pm on Monday night, I realized I made an appointment to bring Harry to the vet on Thursday around the same time as the Halloween parade. Unless I changed the appointment, I’d have to miss the parade. I called the vet first thing the next morning to try to change it, but I couldn’t. He was booked solid all week.

The thing is, this is a really important appointment. Mike and I are bringing Harry to our longtime beloved vet in Miami – a man with whom we’d trust our own lives – to have an open and honest conversation about Harry’s quality of life and, frankly, what the hell to do next. We have to go, which means I have to miss the parade, which is valid and rational decision. But still, I feel horrible.

I waited for the right moment to break the news, which ended up being yesterday morning in car on the way to school. Maybe it was because of sleep deprivation (Harry has us up several times each night), because I got my period (damn period!), or because I felt so guilty, but I worked myself up into a frenzy. I held back tears as I told him I wouldn’t be at the parade.

I apologized profusely. “I hate that I’m going to miss the parade,” I said, “and I’m so, so, so sorry.” Then, I scolded myself. “I can’t believe I made Harry’s appointment on the same day as your parade!” Then, I apologized again.  “I’m so, so, so sorry.” Then, I promised that other moms would stand in. “I called your friends’ moms, and they’re going to cheer for you.  I promise!” Then, I held back more tears.

Damn period!

Silence.

“Are you upset?” I asked. “Are you okay?”

More silence.

I was the worst mom on the planet. I wouldn’t be at the Halloween parade to catch his smile and return his wave.

Then, he giggled and asked, “Do you think people will throw candy at us at the parade?”

“Dylan, did you hear anything I said? I can’t go to the parade tomorrow and I feel terrible. Are you upset?”

“No, I’m fine,” he said. “It’s okay, Mommy.  Really.” And then, “There’s a lot of traffic this morning, isn’t there?”

He’s fine. It’s okay. Really. There’s a lot of traffic. 

I’ve been every kind of mom on the Guilt Spectrum. I’ve walked out the front door without looking back only to lose my breath when it hit me that I had the audacity to do it.  I’ve held back tears in meetings at the thought of someone else soothing my child. I’ve snapped my baby to my chest on a day off to meet an unexpected deadline.  I’ve yelled, “I WILL do a puzzle with you, but NOT until I respond to this email!” I’ve sat at a desk and wondered, What the hell am I doing? I’ve quit because my mental health was at stake. I’ve missed bedtimes and felt horrible.  I’ve wished I could miss bedtimes and felt horrible. I’ve thought to myself, What a waste of my talent and potential. And now, I’ve chastised myself over a parade.

Let me tell you something. Wherever we fall on the Spectrum – and the possibilities are infinite – we’re all capable of feeling guilt – from the ordinary to the extraordinary and from the regular to the ridiculous. It’s our Kryptonite. We all feel bad whether we can go, should go, would go, or wish we could but can’t go to the Halloween parade. Do you know what else? We’re all good moms. And here’s the kicker. The kids are just fine.

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Filed under guilt, Halloween, motherhood, Stay-at-Home Mama

How To Lose Friends And Alienate People…On Halloween

Overall, we had a great Halloween.  We started the night trick or treating with some friends in their neighborhood and finished the night back in our neighborhood.  The kids had a great time, and by the end of the night, their buckets were filled to the gills with candy.  That said, we had some awkward experiences as we walked the streets that made me nostalgic for the magical Halloweens of my youth and made me wonder, what the hell happened to Halloween?  It also inspired a list:

“How To Lose Friends And Alienate People…On Halloween” or “What Not To Do On Halloween”

1. Don’t pretend you’re not home and then turn a light off inside the house while we’re standing in your front yard.  (Psst…we know you’re home.)

2. Don’t pretend you’re not home and then talk loud enough for us to hear you inside the front door. (Psst…we know you’re home.)

3. Don’t decorate your house and front yard for Halloween, answer your door and tell four small adorable children dressed in costumes that you have no candy, and then exit your house seconds later with your entire family dressed in elaborate Halloween costumes to go trick or treating.  While I’m on the topic, don’t defend your cockamamie decision to not give out candy on Halloween by saying, “We don’t celebrate Halloween.”

4. Don’t take five minutes to answer the door in the first place and then say you’ll be right back with candy and then never come back.    (FYI: That’s a long time for our imaginations to wander.)

5. Don’t hang a sign by your front door that says: “OUT FOR THE EVENING.”

This is especially insulting when you’re garage door is open and the lights are on.  At least this sign had artwork.

6. Finally, this not a treat:

 

Even though you cleverly hid this business card/notepad advertising your real estate services inside this colorful, festive treat bag…

…it’s still not a treat.

I sure do miss the good ‘ol days of Halloween when all we had to worry about was eating candy laced with cyanide or getting egged by the older kids.  At least people answered their doors.  Sigh.

p.s. Happy Retirement to my Dad, a man who always answers the door on Halloween, and, as far as I know, has never given out business cards or office supplies instead of candy.

Disclaimer: I know some people legitimately don’t celebrate Halloween, and that’s okay by me, but I chose to ignore that fact when I wrote this post.  (Psst…I can do that if I want.)

On to Thanksgiving…

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Filed under Halloween, list