This mom is tired.
Halloween is the high-water mark of my kids’ social calendar. We went trick-or-treating tonight, as we do every year, at the home of a friend who lives in a neighborhood with narrow streets and lovely close-together houses, where the residents decorate their homes and yards and many put chairs out on their front lawns, or even (as in the case of our friends) potluck tables. The number of guests varies year to year, but the tradition does not: front-lawn party, trick-or-treating with kids Boy and Girl have known as long as they can remember. We bring a dish and our friends cook hotdogs; the adults drink beer or wine and the kids play; we make the kids eat a little and then, when it’s dark, we start the trek around the neighborhood, flashlights in hand, glow bracelets on little wrists, following our wild, manic pack of Batgirls, pirate-princesses, firemen, Power Rangers, soldiers, pandas, Little Bo Peeps, superheroes, Elsas, and Tardises. We yell, ‘Wait! Don’t cross! Look both ways! Say thank you!’ craning our necks in the dark to see if we still have them all, hustling down the sidewalk after them as they run and yell to each other. Joyful in the dark. The triumph of candy booty in identical orange plastic pumpkins heavy in their hands.