As we all know, yesterday was the best kids-holiday in the whole wide world. Halloween. I have fond memories of my own childhood- dressed up like a cat, but bundled in oversized coats and snowboots for our midwestern chilly halloween nights, holding my dad’s hand as we walked from door to door. He’d wait in the street and wear the same costume every year: his regular clothes and an old lady mask. From far away, he really looked like a grandma, close up- it was good ole dad. Good, weird times.
When holidays come around, someone’s feathers are going to get ruffled. They’re usually mine. Halloween isn’t something that my husband and I are particularly interested in, we like to see the kids in their costumes but we don’t really care for it. The boys get dressed at their moms, she helps them with their face paint or make up, ties the knots on their shirts and boots, and gives them pillowcases to fill with candy. We are the first stop on their trick-or-treat tour.
It seems so strange to simply get a visit for a holiday. I come from a divorced family and it never seemed unnatural, but now it does. My family didn’t struggle when our parents separated, we didn’t really get hurt from it, our family remained strong and it probably was the best thing for all of us. But when I see the kids getting dragged around by one parent or taxi’d somewhere else, it reminds me of the strain we had. Leaving clothes or toys at one parents house, telling Mom of the plans but forgetting to tell Dad.. and it’s his weekend, having rules at Dad’s but not at Mom’s. It’s a hard way to live.
I get to a point where I become really selfish when it comes to these boys, because they re now mine, too. I have worked hard for these kids and I strive to do the best I can for them, so it doesn’t seem outrageous to want them at family functions. Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season, it seems. Soon to come will be Thanksgiving dinners, birthday parties, Christmas parties and New Years’ Eve.
The holidays bring on costumes, pumpkin-roll baking, really great scented candles, pretty leaves, tons of photos and lots of emotions. I have only baked one pumpkin roll this year, my husband hates my candles, the leaves are gone and my photo clients have all cancelled in the last two weeks. I’m in a weird fall-funk and I’m not sure how to snap out of it. I am fearful of the upcoming weeks and the loneliness that used to accompany holidays, how it is still present but in a different sense. I get nervous about the upcoming conversations with their mom and asking for visiting rights on holidays. My family counts, too. It shouldn’t be terrifying, but man it is.
It also seems like, since I’m a product of the broken family spectrum, that I’d be used to this,but broken isn’t something you’re meant to get used to.