I’ve been meaning to write a post about Halloween all season, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say and the only words that kept coming to me were “halloween therapy.” This year Halloween was therapeutic. It was healing.
Two years ago my mom got sick a few days before Halloween. Two weeks later she was dead. Two days before that, I’d found out my wife was pregnant. Two years later, I have a toddler. Two minutes ago he nearly fell down the stairs, then nearly tripped onto an eye-gouging corner, and next he’s going for triumvirate of burning himself on the oven door.
Yet something always just stops him, just rights him upwards. Maybe it’s my mom. Maybe it’s me screaming no in a sweat-laced panic. Maybe it’s babies are just walking near misses. I feel like that myself, a near miss of sadness, but here I am, happy and eating leftover Halloween candy.
Last year I didn’t touch my Halloween decorations. I didn’t want to look in the bins that had been hastily packed up the year before, full of shit memories, as though I’d find a dialysis machine in there or the nurse that wouldn’t look my father in the eyes.
But I went in and dug out the bins this year, and all I found was Halloween decorations. Yeah, they were shoved and crammed, as hasty as I knew I’d done it. But unpacking the decorations did not unpack whatever it was I’d feared the year before.
Besides that, I had to decorate for the kid. My kid knows five words. Dog, up, car, bottle, and ghost. He loves the Halloween decorations. Everything is a ghost to him.
This is how you know that someone has no fucks left to be given, when they string a clothesline of ghosts across their yard. We continuously corrected our son that they weren’t all ghosts; at least one was a severed head. (It’s his favorite.)
Healing comes in the form of fun-sized Reese Cups, fake severed heads, and a 15-month old repeating the word ghost ghost ghost. It comes in the form of a kid in a Kylo Ren costume coming up to your house. I gave the kid props on his Kylo, and with the weariness only a child can muster, he said “finally someone gets it.”
I get it kid. I do.