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Happy Halloween! Oh, wait. It’s still September

Submitted by on Tuesday, 30 September 2008 No Comment

He’s waited, hoped and harangued for more than a month, but Little Guy’s day finally arrived.

“Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!” he exclaimed, his eyes bigger and bluer than usual as he spied the big display outside the grocery store. “The pumpkins are orangine!’

Why, yes they are, little love. I’ve known that for a week, ever since I snuck to the store without you last Sunday. But I wouldn’t have deprived you of this joyful discovery for the world. So every time you asked if the pumbkins still were green, I sadly said, “Yes, but they’ll be orange soon.”

Yes, they’re orange now, and it led to a pumpkin-carving project tonight, Sept. 29. That has to be a record for me. I’m usually a “wait until Oct. 24″ type of gal. In California, procrastination is practical — the heat turns jack-o-lanterns into withered, moldy, ant-filled lumps in about a week.

I knew we’d never make it to October, though, when you saw all the decorations that sprouted over the weekend. The scarecrows and foam-o-lanterns lining lawns along our path to school this morning whipped you into a frenzy — “Mommy, are the pumbkins still green” you asked every half block. I knew the after-school grocery store trip would send you over the cliff into a pit of jack-o-lanterns, candy corn and costumes.

I’m happy to dive with you.

You fell in love with Halloween last year, and its low-pressure fun always has made it one of my favorite holidays.

Valentine’s Day — I thought the lack of “secret admirer” cards was bad in grade school until I grew up and saw vase after vase of roses delivered to work while nary a bud made it to my desk.

Thanksgiving — It’s surprising that someone who became a sports columnist hated the family football fests when I was a kid. That was mainly because Pawpaw was such a grump if anyone got between the TV and his Archie Bunker chair in the living room. And I always ate too much and felt miserable.

Christmas — Memories from my chubby stage, when clothes looked great in the Sears catalog but horrible stretched across my fat fanny, put a damper on this. And as an adult, you quickly learn to translate “some assembly required” to “much swearing involved.”

New Year’s Eve — Too many pukey New Year’s Days have followed.

I don’t recall a single subpar Halloween, though, only some that were more outstanding than others.

The year we scammed extra candy for a mythical sick sibling at home was particularly good — we still were munching on that haul around Christmas.

And the parties I’ve been to as an adult — including one where two artsy friends and I slaved for a month to turn my house into a haunted forest — were always a blast. Even Grandma Antsy came to the haunted forest fest, and she’s not much of a party animal. Or so I thought until the witch helped teepee my house.

All of which is why your Dad came over tonight to help you make your “candle pumbkin.”

Seems the fine art of jack-o-lantering is a guy thing in our house. I indulge the slight sexism because, truth be told, I’d rather not walk around with my fingernails reeking of pumpkin guts anyway.

The warm glow of the jack-o-lantern didn’t appease you for long, though. No sooner than the candles were lit did you come up with another plea. “Can we go trick or treating tonight?”

One thing at a time, little love. One thing at a time.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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