The celebration of Halloween is a little bit different for those who live out in the country. For me, it was anyways. It was rare that other kids came by to trick-or-treat. You had to drive to the 'neighbors', if you wanted candy from them. I'm guessing it was a big headache for the parents who had to dress their kids up, argue about whether or not they were going to put their snowsuit on over their costume, and then drive into town on the crappy gravel roads, in crappy weather, and wait for the children to run from house to house, begging for candy, before making the big trek back to the farm.
My mom was a trooper. Every year, she got us all dressed up, somehow came out on top in the "put your snowsuit on, it's twenty below!" argument, took some pictures, loaded us in the car, drove into town, and let us wander about begging.
It always snowed on Halloween. It snowed BIG. Not like nowadays, when we get a little skiff, and the temperature drops. I have many memories of trudging through snow up to my knees, (and one year, up to my waist, in my pioneer girl dress, when we went trick-or-treating out at the lake), in my costume, just to get to the door to sing a stupid song. For a kid who didn't even like candy, I put myself through a lot on this holiday.
I was thinking about this the other day, while decorating the house for the party, and my ol' memory bank reminded me of a Halloween Night, long ago.
I must have been in about grade three. Or maybe grade four or five. I don't even remember Film Star in this memory, so he must have just been a baby. I think that my dad was away working, as he was a good chunk of the time throughout my childhood. It was just mom and the kids. We came home from school, pumped to go out trick-or-treating, and excitedly telling mom about our day.
The weather was bad that night. Bad. Storming. There might have been something else going on too, that my young self wasn't aware of, or my adult self doesn't remember.
Mom had to break the news to us, that she couldn't take us to town to trick-or-treat. I was upset. What would I tell the kids at school the next day? That I just stayed home, while they went out and had fun and got candy?
Mom didn't want us to miss out. Mom didn't want us to have a boring, grumpy night at home. So, she made it fun.
I remember that I wanted to dress up as a punk rocker. GQ wanted to dress up too. All of a sudden, Mom's off-limits make-up bag was out. We gathered in the bathroom, and mom helped us put on our make-up. I got to wear green eye-shadow, and red lipstick. Mom helped give me the highest, punkiest hair in the world. We scoured the house for cool rock star clothes (thankfully, we had one heck of a Mr. Dress-Up-esque tickle-trunk!). I looked so cool. I loved it.
We spent the evening listening to music on the record player, making Halloween crafts, and eating popcorn and candy. Mom lined us up in the kitchen, and took pictures, like she did every year. We laughed, a lot. We accepted the fact that we had to stay home, and we just had fun together, doing what we could.
The next day at school, one of my most annoying classmates, grilled me about how much candy I had gotten, and bragged about how many bags of candy he had filled up. I told him I didn't go trick-or-treating. He teased me, and attempted to get everyone else to tease me too.
One of the other farm kids said that they didn't get to go out either. And then another farm kid piped in. And then another. We all compared stories, and bragged to the town kids about how much fun we had at home with our moms and dads, and how we got to eat as much candy as we wanted, and we didn't have to wear a snowsuit over our costumes, because we were inside all night. It was at that moment, that I realized how lucky I was.
So thanks Mom, for that night. And for all the other Halloween nights, of driving into town in heinous weather, and standing in the cold, just so I could collect enough candy to sell to the brothers. It was always much appreciated.