Monday, November 06, 2006

The Halloween Report

The Boss's first Halloween as a semi-cognizant human being has come and gone. She won't remember it, but The Partner and I know it's the start of many childhood memories she'll come to cherish as much as we do.

She was a little bopper, all 33 inches of her, in a poodle skirt with her name on it and a sparkly black neck scarf. Wobbly on new saddle shoes, she showed off her new skills in upright navigation. The orange sand pail she clutched in her hands was the best I could do at the last minute after I realized I forgot to buy the plastic pumpkin she really should have had for her initial foray into the land of trick-or-treats.

We only visited one house, and it was right next door. To go any further on the main thoroughfare that is our street would've jeopardized all our lives if we chose to walk it and would've been a completely unncessary pain in the hind quarters had we decided to throw her in and out of her carseat for a door-to-door drive. Since she was too young to care, I made the executive decision to hit up the neighbors and call it a night. I think The Partner was the only one who was really disappointed on account of the fact that free candy is a concept he's all too willing to exploit.

The Boss toddled between us, three hands-in-hand. We descended our driveway as the familiar breeze of disbelief swept over me, warm in the temperate night. "I can't believe we're trick or treating with our daughter," I said. "Our own daughter." The porch lit darkness was surreal. I thought about the Halloweens to come, and how fast her tentative wobbles would become sure-footed races to the next house. And I thought, because this is how I am, about the swiftness with which she would become too old for the childish pastime. I thought about the years between her last Halloween as a child and her first Halloween with her own. In the few paces from our driveway to the neighbor's, I thought about it all.

A friend told me about her young daughter's reaction to the holiday and I realized that little girl was feeling the same sort of disbelief as I was, except that her awe was derived from the newness and wonder of the costumes and candy and not from the company. "It's like a dream!" were the words her mother told me she repeatedly chanted as doors opened and shut and her pumpkin booty grew. "I just can't believe it. It's like a dream!"

And it was like a dream. When our neighbors held out a tray of chocolates, The Boss reached in for a miniature bar with unsure fingers. She grabbed it. She took it. She held it up for our approval. Then she went to put it back.

"No, that's for you!" I laughed, while The Partner showed her how to deposit it in her pail and then tried to get her to go back for more. But The Boss was already overwhelmed. I clutched her wispy, pink-skirtedness to my chest and kissed her head. I saw the lone piece of candy in her bucket and smiled.

There'll be much more where that came from.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. I felt much the same on Halloween, as I held Emmie's hand and saw her little nose get red in the cold. She was so proud.

NaMoBloPo is working for you, girlie.

jen said...

what a lovely memoir of a gigantic first.

congrats to the mom, in her beauty and awe.

Dixie said...

Found you from the Randomizer...

That's such a sweet story!

Chris said...

That final sentence about the lone piece of candy in the bucket brings a tear to my eye.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

That was a wonderful post. Halloween is my favorite. I can't wait for next year, already.

T. said...

It really is so fleeting...

Can't believe my daughter is ten already.

Enjoy the years...