halloween ends in tears
I am not a fan of this “holiday”. If it was up to me, there’d be no costumes and no candy. October 31st would be an ordinary day like any other. I’m a killjoy, I guess. But whatever. I’m allowed to despise one holiday. Most people do.
Last year we got away with staying home, watching a movie and eating pop corn for dinner. This year Jackson was too old to fool. I even tried bargaining with him one day in Target as we passed the forbidden aisle and he asked me for the millionth time how many days until halloween. I was all “I have a brilliant idea. How about we stay at home on halloween and I’ll buy you a bag of candy… any bag you want.” He didn’t go for it.
Fast forward to halloween, and I find myself headed to “Trunk or Treat” with a little pirate and handsome knight. I’m thinking to myself okay, this isn’t so bad. ERM… WRONG. That was my last coherent thought of the night. It was all downhill from there, starting the minute I unbuckled their car seats and turned them loose. One went one direction and the other went another. And that was pretty much the story all night.
I’ve grown pretty dependent on our usually cohesive skill at navigating crowded venues. I mean, we conquered the Fair just a few weeks ago and I thought Trunk or Treat was going to be a piece of cake. But for whatever reason we were really off our game. I had an unusually difficult time keeping them together, resulting in us crawling along the attractions like a trio of slugs. We spent the better part of thirty minutes going absolutely nowhere. And then we encountered this bouncy thing:
Before I knew it, they were both inside. And this is where I mention how much single parenting sucks. I have exactly two kids and only one set of eyes and sometimes (like that night) it really burns me. Jack and Jon kept going through this inflatable, coming out one side, running around to go through again. Then suddenly I realized I hadn’t seen Jack come out. I stood on a chair to check the inside, and just like that, he was gone. I couldn’t even run to look for him until I hauled Jon out and threw his shoes on.
I have never lost a child before, and I can say with certainty it was the scariest three minutes of my life. I might have passed out from sheer fear if it had lasted longer than that. Fortunately, Jackson is a smart kid. He quickly indentified one of the adults in charge of the event (they were wearing green shirts) and they were able to page me over the loud speaker.
A few hotdogs later, we were recovered and making our way through the crowds when I happened to glance over toward the parking lot where I’d left the car… It was gone. This cannot be happening. My first thought was that it’d been stolen, except all the cars in the parking lot were missing as well. So that’s when I realized I’d been towed.
I’d parked in front of the Family Dollar store because it was listed on the informational flyer as one of the available parking locations. Apparently nobody ran that by the folks at the store and they were not happy about having a bunch of trick-or-treaters clogging their parking lot. Fortunately for us, the guy who’d towed the car had come back to the store to get his paperwork signed and I encountered him coming out the front door. He was gracious enough to give us a ride over to the lot and open up the shop so I could bail the car out.
Another first for me. I’ve never had my car towed before and it’s not an experience I care to ever repeat. I made it home and had the boys in bed before I curled up with a cup of hot cocoa, a fluffy puppy, and had a nervous breakdown. Tucker is a sweet sympathetic ear, but he’s no match for the one I really wanted. The one 7000 miles away.
Thankfully, bad days never survive the next morning. I’m glad the boys enjoyed their halloween (even the “car prison” was exciting for them). But next time I’ll still vote to stay home and buy a bag of candy. It would be far less expensive and maybe not shortened my life by a few years.