And, this is what I feel like:
Halloween on a Monday seemed backwards, and I was looking for a weekend to swing in right behind it to lay out lazy mornings and slow days to shake off the candy-hangover. I think I speak for many people, because by Wednesday we got an email plea from Gracie's teacher sent to all parents in her class saying: Homework tonight is: Please. Put your kids to bed early tonight. Srsly.
I can imagine having a post Halloween week of six year olds on a sugar laden binge has not been easy for teachers. By Thursday, Gracie had talked us into sending her a Dum Dum for snack time which is, ahem, 10:30 in the morning, and I held out as long as I could, but reluctantly gave in. In her words, she had been the ONLY kid at her table without one this week, so I let the girl have a lollipop. Just this one time. And, she was a happy girl.
So sorry, teacher. I promise I will return to sending dried apricots, Quinoa crackers, and cheddar cheese next week. I Promise. : )
As usual, Halloween on Vashon strutted her glory. There is this wild, creative energy around the Island that explodes on the 31st with handmade costumes, and adults that let their inner child shine through with no apologies. We have some VERY creative people here, let me tell ya.
Here is just a sampling:
|Tiger girl. Pretty darn creative, eh?|
|Pumpkin head dude. Had trouble seeing, but looked cool as he was running into people.|
|Ohhhh, Laura Ingalls. Could anything BE any cuter?? You and your pony win" best in show." You take the cake, girl.|
|Brains on a plate! Anyone??...Anyone???.....Ya, didn't think so.|
|Very inventive. Had to move slow through the crowd, just like pumpkin head dude, but looked cool doing it too. Very awesome costume.|
|How does one eat candy, when one has no neck to swallow? I bet she found a way.|
|Mr. Pan bounced through the town. yes, jumped and bounced all through the streets. I didn't even see him fall once. Waited for it, but not once. Kudos.|
Family also came to do our annual trick or treating. We missed my sister this year, but my brother and his family came over and we did our tradition of getting our Halloween portraits done by the fabulous Rebecca Douglas Photography. We have had done this every year since the girls were 6 months old, and it has been so great to have a portrait done of them on Halloween night. Can't wait to see them.
|Grace and Savannah, aka, Peacock Princess and Vampiress. |
Wait up!, Oh, and don't forget me! Jazzy, aka, the cutest bunny ever!
|Can you hear me now, Santa? Elf on a cell phone. Love it.|
|Yes. Cart O' Candy. That's how we do it on Vashon.|
It had been raining buckets over the weekend, and the sky coughed and spurted, but was done by Monday, letting the sun shine for the very first dry, mild, sunny Halloween in recent memory. Gracie didn't even ask for my gloves till around six o' clock, and I got to wear my cute jacket instead of my Michelin man one.
|Sunshine! On Halloween!|
|Betty, the girls adore you. Even with green skin, they all adore you.|
|Munching on popcorn from the theater. |
|These two were on a mission. C-a-n-d-y- mission. Hand in hand.|
|The night grew colder as the sun went down, which made the bunnies tired, although not tired enough to give up the knuckle full of candy.|
|One more stop to where the girls had been talking about all afternoon. The haunted house at Pandora's Box.|
|And one more picture of these scary girls, and Halloween night 2011 becomes a fleeting blur of candy, costumes, and this moon:|
The bins of Halloween decorations are now stacked at the bottom of the stairs, ready to make the lonely march up to the attic.
November is here, and we are almost a week in. My body know it too, and the stress dreams have started, which is a precursor to the darkness that plunges through me, as daylight escapes the day. In these dreams I am usually running or hiding from something, or someone that wants to kill me, and is hunting me down. I wake up tired, and helpless, because I always wake up, right as it has found me. I believe these different characters are November, carrying a knife.
There are three women I know, me included, that have joined the November club. It is a club you never, ever want to join. This week marks two souls that are loved and missed terribly. My heart aches for these two mothers and I wish to God, they didn't share this misery with me. One of these missed angels is my very own niece. It hurts that my arms never held her, and that we never got to watch her blow out her birthday candles. It hurts that I never got to look her in the eyes, and tell her I love her. It hurts that my brother and his wife had to have a funeral for their baby that they only got to hold for not long enough. Never long enough. It hurts, and I'm angry, and it hurts, and I'm furious. The anger and hurt, they entangle, and make a whole different identity into something more destructive.
I pray it will not take these women down. I pray they can find a way to fight the monster that is grief, and I pray that I too, can keep this soul eating monster at bay.
Please, for these women, light two candles this week. One tonight, and one on the ninth.
May it light a thought, a prayer, a love for these children, who are so loved and missed, and may it send a light out into the dark to bring their mothers back from a dark day.
We miss these girls with all of our hearts, and love them deeply.
These Girls of November.