Every year, my two youngest children's birthdays and All Hallow's Eve fall in the same chaotic week. . .Every. . .year! My husband and I used to handle this diligently by attempting to set our kids to costume brainstorming and creation early in the month, as soon as we turned the calendar over to October. Even still, we often had that last minute rush for the final piece, or last minute adjustment, but this year it was the night before Halloween, my oldest just lugged home a big chunk of (teethpulling type) homework to complete, and all three kids were desperately in need of costumes, and the oldest didn't have a clue what he wanted to be this year.
As big brother set to homework and middle guy gathered his Lone Ranger gettup, my little girl and I began collecting fairy trappings from around the house. One of her favorite books is The Night Fairy, by Laura Amy Schlitz, and she decided to be Flory the night fairy this year. Daddy prepped her to assert, "I am a night fairy" rather than "I am Flory" when people inquired about her costume this evening, in order to avoid any confusion as many people are only familiar with the more pop-culture fairies of the world. We dug for just the right tights, and sparkly shoes, and I found the perfect dark haired wig. She tried on three dresses and decided on reworking a tinkerbell costume, removing the tinkerbell broach, while daddy transformed into the magical warlock of wings, (fixing them up like new, after all not everyone is familiar that Flory's wings were damaged for most of the story. . . ) and slowly I evolved into a homework hag. "What do you mean you don't know what to do?"
The next night, Halloween, I made a mad dash to the grocery before heading toward home. I realized exasperatedly that I needed a few things for the next day's two parties. (This was the fateful year, my daughter finally reached kindergarten. For years I have told her "no kid party till kindergarten". . .My time was up!) While I slogged through the Friday afternoon crowd, my husband braved the downtown traffic and Halloween turmoil of trick or treaters literally in the streets, to bring home pizza, so I could help my oldest prepare his Zorro attire. I fashioned a hat out of cardboard while the boy diligently fabricated a sword out of brakeline and electrical tape. (Despite our great efforts, most folks sadly dubbed him a "bandit" for the evening, perhaps because he lost his sword by the fifth
house? sigh. . .)
Finally, finally, finally we piled our troops in the van and headed toward town. (The trees in these here woods make quite fine neighbors, but don't give much in the way of candy at Halloween) As soon as we stopped the car, Zorro leapt out with great flare, zinging his sword of brakeline with gusto, (and getting scolded for almost zinging mom in the eye) He continued leaping zig zaggingly in zany Zorro form throughout the night, while the Lone Ranger moseyed through the town with the genuine sore feet of a cowboy without a horse. A true predictor that the cowboy theme will be abandoned next year.
The night fairy hopped from the car with pure joy glowing from her. Irridescent wings fluttered happily through the darkness seeking sweet treats as Flory's smile lit up the night and polite thank you's (slightly out of character for Flory) graced the evening. I laughed out loud as I watched her flit from house to house wings wiggling, and curls bouncing in true fairy form, and thought to myself, "this is what Halloween is all about" . . . despite it's perpetual ill timing.