Ah, yes. Halloween. It's a holiday that ceases to have any importance once one reaches junior high...and then regains its relevance once one has children who are old enough to enjoy dressing up and trick-or-treating. Having Nels around makes it fun, because he's really into all the accoutrements, not just the candy. Fake cobwebs, jack o'lanterns, skeletons...it's all a big thrill. Our kids are still just young enough that we can dismiss the "evil" stuff with "monsters are pretend." I'm sure we'll have a much more nuanced, thoughtful Christian response to Halloween...eventually. For now it's just fun.
Nels wore his costume to school, as did the rest of the kids.
He ended up wearing it all day...to varying degrees.
Willem wore the rooster suit that Nels wore on his very first trick-or-treat outing. Let me tell you, if you want to spread a little love around, all it takes is to run some errands around town with a toddler dressed as a rooster. I'm pretty sure it was the best day of Willem's life, thanks to all the smiles and attention directed his way.
The day after Halloween was my 35th birthday. I can finally give my poor mother her due. All those years of having to costume children and then put on a birthday party the next day...I was worn out and I only had to come up with one costume (the rooster was a no-brainer) and think about getting older in lieu of throwing an actual party.
Despite the lack of a party (or perhaps because of it), I had a notably good day on my birthday. Nels didn't have school, so I didn't have to be anywhere. I didn't feel unsettled or melancholic or lazy (which are feelings I commonly have). I felt lucky to spend the day at home. I felt thankful for my husband and my children and who they are and that I get to spend my life with them. I felt glad for my life, even joyful. Yes, full of joy. I have no reason not to feel this way every day, but emotions are fickle. The alignment of emotion with reality was a birthday gift I wouldn't have thought to ask for but was happy to receive.
Lest you roll your eyes, let me hasten to add that my birthday was celebrated in a less spiritual fashion as well. The following weekend we enjoyed a birthday repast the likes of which will never be seen again.
Shaun made wings! From scratch! They marinated all day in balsamic vinegar and garlic and fresh rosemary and goodness knows what else. The smell of them cooking was beyond belief. The Hamiltons provided the meal proper, which was my birthday request. Beet and goat cheese salad, butternut squash ravioli with browned butter and crispy sage, and a sticky toffee pudding-esque cake. It was all delicious. In our giddiness we washed it down with a few more cocktails than were warranted. Gluttonous? Borderline. Memorable? Indeed.
And I've got a leg up on next year's Halloween costumes. I can send Nels out as Salvador Dali.