Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boo! I want my mommy

The porch light's been extinguished, the friendly ghost that howls "Happy Halloween" silenced, and I am approximately $40 worth of penny candy lighter, but I love Halloween.
I think it's because of my mom, Mary. She was born blind, but loved the costumes and revelry of Halloween. I grew up in more innocent times, when you could hand out homemade treats. And my mom would get up really early to pop lunch bags of seasoned popcorn to give to the kids who came to the door. They loved it. In her later years, when store -bought was the safety decree, she switched to penny candy, too, and I felt bad about that because the popping was a service she performed for love.
She had a little metal counter that she'd keep on her hand and as she dropped the candy in to the bags she'd click away, then gleefully tally it at evening's end.
I use the counter now. And I inherited her delight in opening the door, though I can gaze at the pirates and princess and scary goblins, while she had to say "what are you this year" as she directed them to hold their bags out where she could feel them.
I like to open the door with a loud, "What did you bring me?" Sometimes, the littler ones shyly offer me my pick of their treasure and I laugh and give them triple the candy.
We live now at a crossroads, the only actual house on our side of the street, between two neighborhoods. We get children from both. And because Beaux decorates like crazy and the ghost yells "Happy Halloween," we sometimes have kids 20 deep on our porch. Seriously.
I remember living in an apartment in college and being disappointed I only had about 20 trick or treaters. I have friends who say no one stops. Tonight, we got 268 before 10 and a few stragglers after. The teens, to my surprise, were the ones most apt to say thanks. The littles told me repeatedly my house was "pretty" with its graveyard and zombies, pumpkins and ghosts. Their parents stood at the end of the drive (except the ones that carried their own trick or treat bags -- what's that about?) and took photos.
It was not the biggest crowd; I once clicked 371 on a spooky night. But I feel sorry for the folks who don't bother to stay home and greet the kids with treats. A lot of houses are dark because both parents go out with their children. They miss the part about giving, although they do the receiving part okay. Me? I could care less how much the girls bring home. But I love the excited buzz of children on the porch, the surprise of "You're Jeni's or Aly's mom!" from classmates who live further away, the sheer pageantry of the evening.
And I think my mom would have liked this house on Halloween. It draws the kind of crowd she craved.
Happy Halloween, Mama.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jen reveals her secret...

My oldest, Jenifer, who is 12, this week decided to make me privy to her darkest secret.
She is, it seems, part unicorn.
Now I was understandably surprised by this, since I am her mother and know her father very well.
It got even more interesting when she started telling me some of the unicorn rules. So I asked her to write them down.
Imagine my surprise when I came home and found this. I've typed it up and, yes, I did punctuate. Can't help myself. If you've ever wondered what rules the creatures must follow, read on.

UNICORNS by Jeni Kyle, age 12:
Unicorns are known as myths. They used to be called mystics. Jhon H. Unicorn discovered a group of them. No one believed them. Of course, people decided to make stories of them and they decided since Jhon Unicorn found them, that would be the name.

Unicorns can transform into any living thing but can only be one for less than 24 hours. If a unicorn stays a fish, it will have a small amount of fish DNA. If a unicorn stays a fish for 48 hours, it will be a fish and lose its powers. Unicorns can basically breed with anything living except for leap frogs. They have a unicorn poison.

All unicorns are allergic to oil, celery, cauliflower. Unicorns can't eat carrots, avocado, ketchup, pine trees, fish, cactus or lemons after 6 to 9 p.m. Unicorns were made beautiful, so they are also allergic to makeup, which is sad when a unicorn breeds with a cat.

Unicorns try their best to keep quiet about themselves. The population is bigger than you would think. Picture a row of ten houses. Every house is made up of only humans except for one. It has all humans and one unicorn. Unicorns have many powers. They can fly, transportate, run fast, jump fences, eat 36,000 leaves in one day and other things.

The Unicorn Mountain Council is not allowed to tell creatures unicorns are considered one of the smartest animals at 28 years of age. Unicorns are helpful and are herbivores. Lots of unicorns are afraid to tell family about it because humans will not want to play checkers, tag or baseball with them and they love to play. Unicorns at the time they are born are uncooridnated and fall a lot. At the age of 15 a unicorn should be rightfully ready to handle flying and should be sure-footed.

Unicorns are cool creatures because their hair grows very fast. It's a unicorn's natural instinct that tells them their hair needs to be in their face. Unicorns are playful creatures that are trustworthy.

Most of the world still does not see how important unicorns are. Every spring they use their super eyesight to produce more cow milk. During fall they paint leaves with their wings and put them on trees. That's why the wings of their close friends, Pegasus, are beautiful and colorful.