1. Candy corn. Why is this completely artificial confection only available at this time of year? What, they don’t make orange food coloring in the summer? Come on! Well, I’m a wannabe healthy, eat-local, eat-seasonal kind of gal, so I’m going to jump on the candy corn bandwagon and eat bags and bags of it while I still can, alongside some black kale and kabocha squash.
2. The costume preparation will finally be done. I’m still having terrible, panic-attack style, flashbacks to a few weeks ago when one of the costumes I ordered online for one of my four kids came in the wrong size. The look in my daughter’s eyes when she saw her costume, the size of Andre the Giant compared to her tiny body, was soul-crushing. Especially since her siblings’ costumes all fit perfectly. I had to fix this. I raced down the street in the rain, my bad knees pounding on the pavement, sweat dripping down my chest, to the local costume store. Which was out of her costume. Nooooo! At least I found her second choice. Then I ran home again. More sweating. More physical therapy sessions to book. But, when I got back home, my daughter’s eyes lit up like fireworks and she hugged me saying, “Thanks, Mom!” I hobbled away, happy, sweaty, beat.
3. Something to do after dinner. The time between dinner and bedtime seems to linger on and on for me sometimes. Even when I’m “in the moment.” Homework, drawing, reading, playing on the floor, hide ’n go seek… the time seems to march to a slower second hand than the rest of the day. On Halloween, I’m golden. A group activity!
4. Seeing other people’s homes. I’m obsessed with home design. I love “shelter” magazines. The design/home/whatever section of the New York Times. Terrible remodeling reality shows like “Property Brothers.” For me, these little peeks into strangers’ foyers over the shoulders of whoever is holding that bowl of candy is oddly titillating. Is that creepy?
5. Seeing friends on the street. It’s like a party out there! I love seeing other parents being yanked and pulled by their kids, just like me!
6. The candy sort. After trick or treating, the kids sort all the candy into piles by brand. I love that sort of order. It calms me.
7. I won’t be the only one up all night. I feel like on many nights, friends of mine who also have kids miraculously sleep through the night. I have no clue how they do this, but they do and I don’t. On Halloween, I can pretty much guarantee that everyone’s kids will be up all night, high on sugar, not just mine, so I’ll have people to text with at 2:00 am instead of just nudging my husband to wake up. Again.
8. The morning after. I like how kids get an early glimpse of that hungover feeling. I’m hoping that when someone offers them their first Jagermeister shot, they’ll remember those post-Halloween dawns, their headaches blazing, and decide to skip it.
9. Giving back. My son’s school collects candy donations to give to the military the next day. Because we all want soldiers totally hopped up on Mr. Goodbars. (No, no, I’m kidding. The military men and women obviously deserve way more than a bag of candy.) We parents get to feel virtuous and socially responsible dumping our second-choice candies in that bin.
10. My turn. At last! My chance to forage through the leftovers. The night after. When the kids go to bed early after fighting their sugar overdose all day. When I can delight in the silvery, crinkling sounds of Hershey’s Kisses being unwrapped. The whooshing taste of a cool Peppermint Patty. The feeling of dozens of M&Ms hitting the back of my throat as I pour the bag in. And finally, eating the candy corn, color by color, until all that orange food coloring is gone (digested?) and all I can do is start the countdown until next October.