Ten years ago today was the hauntiest of all Halloweens. It was the day my life shattered. If you’ve read my book or know me, you know the whole sordid story. Suffice it to say, nothing is scarier than real life terror. I’ve been thinking all day about the ten years that have slowly separated that Halloween from this one – about the exhausting effort spent on communicating, learning, investing, crying, praying, and, sometimes, simply being. It wasn’t glamorous. It was clunky and rock-bottom messy. It haunts me still.
There were certainly times over these past years that one of us did or said something amazing, but mostly there were just times where one of us just did or said something. Small things. Simple things. There has not been a lot of phenomenal reactions between the two of us, but there has been a lot of eyebrow raising and shoulder shrugging. Mike has done a lot of being around which caused me to do a lot of second looking.
So I woke up today considering that most terrible Halloween and all of the ones in-between. Has it all been worth it?
There was the Halloween when both of my girls began throwing up before we reached the first house, so I had a cheerleader throwing up in the bathroom upstairs and a witch throwing up in the bathroom downstairs, while Mike took the two Knights in armor to gather candy, which they volunteered to share with their sick sisters, as knights do.
And there was the Halloween when we took the girls to gather candy and returned home to find that Drake and Josiah had filled the candy bucket with lightbulbs and raw potatoes and had spent the evening laughing hysterically when kids took them.
And it seems fitting that tonight all of us will return from wherever we are to gather on the couch and watch Parenthood. The one hour show will take us two hours due to much commentating and differing of opinions. We will eat pizza and popcorn together and laugh at each other’s jokes. We will groan at the plot twists and shout our opinions.
When I consider our Halloweens I see the magic. It’s some of the haunting kind, but mostly the holy kind.