Another Halloween is in the record books. Last night we went out trick or treating with some friends, though it was a much smaller group than it’s been in the past. MC had a great time. She’s all about the candy, naturally, and this year she made her costume herself. She wanted to be a vampire, so she made some wings out of cardboard and attached Lego dragon wings to a headband. Add a red top and black pants, and she was good to go.
We’ve never done a ton of houses trick or treating. We don’t really live in a part of the country that has a lot of dense housing locations. So we go out for about an hour and come back when it gets too cold. (It was 32 last night. Pretty chilly considering it was 75 just a few days ago.) But that’s always more than enough for our kids to be happy. (Well, “kid” at this point. Daniela was at an orchestra rehearsal, and Tomas is of course in Slovakia.)
After we were done, we came home and . . . did nothing. MC arranged her candy. I watched a little Nightmare on Elm Street 2. But other than that, it was like any other evening. This is a far cry from most other Halloweens we’ve had since we moved to Maine. I think that other than the year Covid ruined everything, there’s always been a Halloween party to go to after trick or treating. For the first few years, it was at friends’ houses, and then for the next long while, it was at our house. I looked forward to it each year. Trick or treating is fun, but it’s dark, and you can’t really talk to people easily, since you’re all strung out across sidewalks. Having a party afterward lets people actually see each others’ costumes, and it always made it feel like more of a celebration.
So why didn’t we do another party this year? Because . . . people get older. Kids, specifically. For years and years, we had three kids who all loved trick or treating, and we had friends with kids the same age. Now, we’re down to a single trick or treater, and so it just feels like much less of a justification to have a full blown party, as we don’t really have enough of a core group to make it click. We would totally go to someone else’s Halloween party if one were happening, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve got a good enough reason to have one at our house, if that makes sense.
It’s not all bad, of course. Not having a party meant that we didn’t have to clean up the house, so that’s a plus. And some of this just comes with the territory of a family moving from one stage to another. As I’ve blogged about before, however, this isn’t really a stage I ever pictured clearly in my head. For the first long while of my life, I was in the family I grew up in. Then I was in the family I made with Denisa. Now that family is moving onto the next stage, and I still get bummed out about it from time to time, often when I don’t expect it.
Last night was another such time. Nothing soul crushing or anything, but definitely a bit of a downer on what used to be a highlight of the year. So the contrast made it feel that much worse.
Normally I’d try to end this on a bright note, but . . . I’m drawing a blank for now. I’m just trying to focus on still enjoying the holiday through MC’s eyes. It’s fun to see everyone post pictures of costumes. I still like the holiday, but it’s going to take some rebalancing in the future to find a new normal.