Archive for November, 2011

Last-Minute Monkey

Yesterday, I was on my way home from the gym, preoccupied with the details of dinner.  Miles was walking beside me, holding my hand and stopping to bounce experimentally on sidewalk cracks, subway vents and gum wrappers.  We were so absorbed in our various ponderings that it took us a few minutes to notice that we were surrounded by zombies. 

Zombies?  Oh crap!  It was Halloween, at 5 p.m., and we had no plans!  

In the few blocks between the gym and home, I began to feel like a) an idiot, b) a jerk, and c) a failed parent.  Why had I taken such a laid-back approach to a holiday universally cherished by children?  What was wrong with me?  Most parents are thrilled to dress their kids up and take billions of pictures of them.  My friend Inder even sewed her child an amazing  shark costume without using a pattern during the busiest work week of her year.  We, however, hadn’t even settled on a costume.  Rewear last year’s monkey costume now that he knows what a monkey is?  Wear his Yoda or Chewbacca costumes from my cousin’s wedding?  I’d taken a meh approach — and what was my excuse? 

He would only be 2 once, and now I would never have a photo of Miles at 2, with his face all smudged with face paint.

Then I checked my phone, and I had a message from Robin: “Are we going to the parade?  Leaving work early.  What’s the plan?”

Of course!  The parade!  We live in an amazing neighborhood that hosts a Children’s Halloween Parade.  And we live steps from a busy commercial block where children trick-or-treat from one storefront to another.  We could do this!

I sprung into action.  By 5:45 my little monkey was fed and dressed, and we were out trick-or-treating.  The first time Miles said, faintly, obediently, “trick or treat,” he stared with incredulous wonder as a complete stranger gave him candy.  His astonishment grew as this method worked again!  And again!  Every time a stranger grinned at him, or I grinned at someone else’s children, I felt the magic of Halloween growing stronger. 

At 6:30, Mommy, Momma and Monkey were on the parade route.  Miles sat atop Robin’s shoulders, marveling at the giant papier mache puppets of ghosts and dragons, pointing, shouting, “Momma look!”  After the dragon puppet passed out of sight he asked eagerly, “Where is she go?”

To think I almost missed this. 

Smudged face: check.


Big! Pumpkins!


Look, Momma!

Next year: big plans.  A themed family costume (like the family we saw dressed as characters from Wizard of Oz — to die for!!), a stroller overhaul (one was decked out as a taxi), the works.  Now who’s going to hold me to this? 



Read Full Post »