Last night, we took the kids trick or treating, despite the misty rain, and the mud, and the fact that the Gators were still in the midst of kicking Georgia’s ass. Sometimes, it is better to just walk away and eat candy and drink beer.
Rollie was a mummy (Not that fun a costume to put together, and even worse to remove! Like the old school costume ideas, though.) and Tills was a cheerleader. We went to meet neighbors a couple of streets over for a neighborhood tradition. A family has always done a pinata before trick or treating. It started with just a family or two, but over the years, has ballooned to tons of neighborhood kids showing up to take a shot at the pinata. I think they even have two pinatas, one for the big kids and one for the little ones. So many people show up that I dropped candy off the day before to help out. The whole thing is a ball of candy frenzy, but so much fun. It gives the parents a chance to group, pour themselves a drink (everyone has a cup or a rolling cooler with them), chat while the kids wait in line for their turn to whack the pinata, and to check out all the costumes in the floodlights of the driveway. When the pinata finally cracks open, candy rains from the sky, and the scramble for booty begins. One mother in my neighborhood aptly referred to it as “like a scene out of Lord of the Flies.” I loved that book! Perhaps not for everyone, though.
After that, we all give our thanks and head around the loop to trick or treat. The bigger kids race from door to door, their parents yelling, “slow down! It isn’t a race! Wait for your sister! You’re going to trip over something cutting through a dark yard like that! Don’t ring that doorbell! Porch light off means they aren’t giving out candy!” The shrieks and yells carry through the night, echoing off the houses. The parents walk down the middle of the street, then weave to one side or the other, depending on which house the kids are going to. Occasionally, the kids stop at the parents to yell excitedly that a certain house gave a certain something awesome. Some houses have scary stuff – motion-activated sound machines or mummies and vampires that pop up when the kids approach the steps. One got Tiller so bad that she turned around and ran back across the yard, to the sound of myself and todd roaring in laughter. Parents drag coolers or wagons or push strollers (they make great drink transportation!) The little ones get tired about 3/4 of the way and start dragging and wanting up to be carried or in the wagon. (“Baby, Mama’s cooler’s in the wagon. You better keep walking.”) We finally finish the loop and head home, the kids wild-eyed and digging into their candy before we get there. We visit the old folks around us, which we should have done before going to the pinata, but damn it, Mummies are hard to wrap. The old folks make over the kids and the kids stumble over their words trying to explain everything that they saw, and who was dressed up as what.
Then you get home, and you let the kids have some candy. (Yes, we are terrible and limited their intake right before bed. We wash off mummy makeup and take off saddle oxfords and tights and tuck them into bed, visions of pumpkins and candy dancing in their heads.
Then we rummage through their candy, and pour ourselves a drink. Finally, we walk out into the carport to blow out the candles in the pumpkin and step on a pile of muddy shoes, twisting our ankle and bumping our head on the brick wall, our screams of agony resonating throughout the neighborhood under a Waxing Gibbous moon. We limp back to the couch with the help of our husband, who brings us a water, Ibuprofen, a bag of frozen fruit, and a beer. We prop our foot up, icing it and watching The Night of the Living Dead.