Quinn is three and that means that even though I thought I was done trick-or-treating and figuring out costumes, I am not done. I didn’t even get a breather… just as the older kids got too cool for it, I have another one waiting.
I love Fall and I love the place where we trick-or-treat. All the houses are “done up” and we go at night, when it is good and crisp and spooky. Quinn loved it last year, but since then, child development has taken over and now, it seems, Halloween might be a bit too scary.
He has insisted, for weeks now, that he wants to be a pumpkin. “I AM GOING TO WEAR A PUMPKIN COSTUME AND I AM NOT GOING TO CHANGE MY MIND,” he has squealed a dozen times. I keep hoping he will forget about this idea or actually change his mind anyway because I think a pumpkin costume is stupid. Plus, I bought this little outfit from Etsy this summer for him to wear to Katie’s wedding, but when it arrived it was really ugly and I could not return it so I told Quinn he could wear it as part of a clown costume. “I DO NOT WANT TO BE A CLOWN. I WANT TO BE A PUMPKIN AND I AM NOT GOING TO CHANGE MY MIND.”
Today, the Sunday before trick-or-treat weekend, I gave in. I shopped all day. I bought a bunch of stuff to make a pumpkin costume and then returned it because I found one already assembled and, whatever, it’s a pumpkin. During my hunt, William called and reminded me that he and his friends are going to wear morph suits for Halloween and can I please buy one? I went to three stores to find one. The black ones are sold out everywhere, so he texted that “red is fine.” I brought it home and the piece that covers his head is too small and so his neck shows. He said, “That’s okay. I will just go to Halloween as a broken condom.”
I texted a photo of the found, pre-made, stupid pumpkin suit to Elizabeth and told her to show Quinn and ask him if he really, for sure, wanted to be this exact costume for Halloween. She texted back that he replied, “YES. YEAH. YAY. I AM GOING TO BE THAT PUMPKIN.”
I bought it and spent the rest of the day trying to find a pair of black boots that will actually zip up to my knees. I do this every goddamned Fall and I was hopeful that after dropping weight that this year I would actually find some, but nope. Black boots are still too small for my calves. The good news is that the manmade ones now seem to zip. Leather, I guess, just is not ready for me yet. I finally returned home with a new purse and ankle boots. Luke said the purse looks like it belongs to Gene Simmons. I took that as a compliment, but am pretty sure it was not meant to be one.
Anyway, I walked in the door with pumpkin suit in hand and shouted, “Quinn! Quinn! It is here! Your pumpkin suit is in the dining room.” He toddled in, took one look at it and said, “I am not wearing that! It has eyes! I hate it.” I tried to reason with him for a bit until he said, “No. I hate it. I will just wear gloves to Halloween.” William told him that if he did not wear his costume that he could not have candy. Quinn said, “You get the candy. I want to be home.”
I then made the mistake of showing him the new thermal I purchased for him that is decorated with tiny skulls. Too scary. I lied and said that they were not skeletons, they were cats, but he was not buying it. I gave in, collapsed on the couch and he crawled up on my lap. “Mommy?” I looked at down at him. “I really like you, but I am not wearing that pumpkin suit.”
I am pretty sure that this is the real reason that costumes are not returnable. It’s okay. Maybe we can shove the dog in it.
This has been a busy, busy October for me. My head, most nights is spinning. I usually quiet it, not through mediation or stillness, but with vodka and episode after episode of The Good Wife. I cuddle up in my bed, late, late at night, dog under my knees, Quinn to my left, snoring, and I push the Hulu Plus app on my phone and zone into oblivion with Alicia Florrick. I know I should possibly be quieting my mind in another way, visualizing, dreaming bigger, something …
But when I close my eyes and try to focus, try to just be, all I think about are the million things that need attending: volleyball tournaments, volleyball fees (did I tell you that Lizzie made Sting as an outside hitter?), parent conferences, college visits, the November show, the youngARTS deadline, the order I need to place for ink, the falling apart house, my closet that is spilled all over my floor, the laundry that never stops spinning, the bright orange postcard that came for the third time in a row announcing a recall on my car… Even these things, these little petty things that eat away at my mind, are just distractions, aren’t they? If I let myself think deeper or about things that are very sad, like how my friend Mark is very sick with cancer or how my mom still likely needs surgery or about the shortcomings of my own relationships … I find that these thoughts are all just too much right now and that even writing a sentence about them out loud makes me feel like I have swallowed my food whole and it has landed in a cement circle at the bottom of my stomach.
When my life gets like this it always makes me think about the last months of Lolo’s life and how so many of them were spent in silence, staring. I wonder if in that time, she let it all soak in and then, finally, in a fatal attempt, released it.
Exhausted, yes, but things are not all bad. Sean and I went to a dive bar and exchanged stories about his recent trip to Jersey and my tales of the kids. The Avett Brothers released Magpie. My Birchbox came in the mail. I made really good chili. I ate Indian food with Haley. Sean replaced a window that has been boarded up for years and he tore down William’s broken bedroom wall. I lost a pound. I finished all of my drawings for the show and am even okay with the fact that they won’t be framed. William’s team won a game. Lizzie’s broken finger seems to be healing. Lots and lots of things on the upswing … and in truth, if the worst thing that happened this weekend is that I wasted $17.00 on an orange pillow with eyes, then so be it. I am not going to change my mind.