December 30, 2015

A Modern Stone Age Family

A holiday or two behind.  Still catching up on the past months.  And I need to confess, 

I'm not keen,

on Halloween.

I asked my husband a couple years ago if we could just skip it -- perhaps we could go away for that weekend.

He shuddered and looked at me in shame.

He is keen,

on Halloween.

It is one of his favorite holidays.

I think that is because moms bear 99% of the weight of work for the holiday and husbands just get to show up and eat the Snickers out of the candy bags.

So, for his sake, for their sake, I try.

Some years I try harder than others.  Remember the year I met the Halloween Fairy?

This year I tried to put a little more heart into it.

And, the kids loved it. . . and I may have to admit, I did too.

I mean, how can you not love THIS???

Missing from the picture is Dino (aka Bridger's service dog, Ty) -- who wasn't keen on this Halloween either (or at least didn't care for his Dino head I tried to make him wear).

I had seen a way to make fake logs on the internet -- so I took that and improvised with my own frugal ways and asked the hardware store for the thick empty cardboard carpet roll that was about to be discarded and l took a cardboard fabric roll from the craft store trash and I sprayed them with insulation spray foam.  I sliced across the top of the foam with a serrated knife and then spottily spray painted them two different shades of brown. I bought a concrete form, cut it in half and spray painted it and added some cardboard cutouts from Bridger's monthly diaper supply boxes, framed the whole thing together with a hidden frame I made from pvc pipe and cut out the top from from white fabric scrap I had and added the rope.  I think it came pretty close to the real thing!

I have to admit -- this was one of my favorite Halloweens.  We didn't go door-to-door.  Wanna know why?? Because going door-to-door is AWFUL when you have a wheelchair. Navigating front walkway to driveway to front walkway to driveway makes it very hard to keep up with the kid's group that is running across lawns to the next door.  Then, you can't even get to the front door because of the steps prevent you from getting within 6 feet of it and no one wants to step out of their door threshold to give candy out and they usually can't see him anyway because of the cluster of kids clogging the doorway eagerly surrounding the candy bowl so he just sits there and stares at the fun he is not a part of.  Just not my kind of fun.  

We tried to join the neighbors at their annual pre-Halloween chili cook-off.  Bridger and I parallel parked his chair alongside the path to the patio - the only accessible place for us to be, until he started projectile vomiting within 90 seconds of arriving. I was trying to catch it all steady on a flimsy paper plate and trying to reverse the whole mobile get-up with my other hand back down the path and make a quick exit while he continued to retch as others were trying to come up the path and slightly hesitate over their mixed emotions of what the unknown proper etiquette might be in such a situation until they eventually decide to say their polite greetings to me as we passed and avoid eye contact will the spillage on my paper plate.  Yup, we sure know how to make an entrance. . . and an exit.

I also learned that Lance could have been a voice-over for Barney Rubble.  He had us all laughing with his "Hiya Fred"!

Our town celebrates Halloween in the most charming of ways with a quaint parade.  A few thousand adults and children line the historic streets as high school bands, floats from local businesses and political candidates march down the main street and throw candy out to the people along the old brick sidewalks. We have never been because parade=crowds=not a possibility for Bridger, but when we were asked to join a candidate for a local election alongside his parade "float" and hand out candy with his entourage, we thought we might be able to experience a fun Halloween alternative.

My kids felt like celebrities as we heard people yelling greetings to the Flintstones as we passed by.  They loved passing out candy to all of the cute children on the street holding their bags out to them.  Soon into our parade route, however, Bridger and I fell behind as the Fred Flintstone mobile travels at a slightly slower rate than the parade car we were walking behind.  The float behind us was some distance away, so Bridger . . .er, I mean, Fred, became his own lone parade float for a while.  

I heard people clapping for what was before us, and I heard people clapping for what was behind us, but what I heard while Bridger was rolling by made me lose it and my eyes started watering.  {Sheesh, crying at a parade?! I am a lush.}  Absolute roars of applause.  Sincere and genuine.  Standing ovations, people yelling to him that he was the highlight of the whole parade.  He had candy that he would roll over and give to children as adults said the most wonderfully kind things to him and I.  A friend in our parade party came back to jog with Bridger to catch us up and I captured of snippet of the cheers on video. . .

Bridger was a star and he knew it.  He felt joy and was glowing.  He still talks about it to this day.

I was so grateful to each of those parade-goers that made him feel on top of the world for a brief moment that evening.  It made my heart swell with love for my town and the kind people in it.

Maybe my heart might just be changing towards this thing called Halloween.

Let me eat a Kit Kat. . . or seven. . . and think about it.