Saturday, November 1, 2014


Last night we celebrated Halloween with E, and though this is her third Halloween, it's the first time she had any inkling of what it entails. We decorated our front porch with a harvest wreath, a scarecrow, spiderwebs, and a family of pumpkins. E could really help, and my heart filled with joy in watching her stretch the spiderwebs, pull decorations out of the Halloween bin, and carry her "baby punkins" around.

We went a couple weeks ago to one of the local pumpkin farms and had a great time bouncing on the Jumping Pillow, climbing the Straw Mountain, buying fresh kettlecorn and taking a hayride into the pumpkin fields at dusk. As we sat on the wooden benches in the hay wagon and bumped along the dirt roads, laughing and sharing kettlecorn and watching the sun kiss the mountain peaks, I thought to myself that I would pay any amount of money for that kind of happiness.

E's costume this year is an incredible dragon, sewn by my mother in law in 2011 for our foster son. We loved the costume so much that we agreed, any kid in the family that's the right age/size at Halloween would be the dragon. We hoped last year E would fit, but she's pretty short and our foster son was a tall kid, so she swam in it. This year though, she (amazingly enough) had not yet outgrown it! She seems to enjoy wearing it, until she gets overheated. Not like that's common in Arizona in October or anything. We took her around our neighborhood to a few houses to Trick or Treat, then we called it quits and handed out candy to other kids the rest of the evening. It was quiet and simple and we had low expectations - all things we've learned are necessary in handling a 2 year old's perceptions of the holiday.

And as amazing as E was last night, and no matter how much I enjoyed taking her out Trick or Treating, I think there may always be a touch of bittersweet that lives on inside my heart when someone wears that dragon costume. After all, it forever reminds me of the first little blond-headed boy who toddled around in it, tripping over the feet and dragging the tail behind him.

Teri & "Andrew" the dragon, Halloween 2011

At the very least, he (and his sister) are far enough away now that it's easier to separate my longing for them from my ability to celebrate with E and love her as the dragon for her own sake.

I hope you all had happy and safe Halloweens with your families!