Today is, without a doubt, the biggest day of the year for The Boy.
For him, it's better than Christmas or his birthday - or both of them combined even.
The day started off with my favorite 'Spiderman' heading off to school while The Girl and Bubbie stayed home and made orange and red Halloween Jello Jigglers.
Then we were home for setting up the lawn and carving our pumpkins.
He always had to work on Halloween during the day, and he was tired, etc..... his hands hurt/it's a pain in the ass/ etc...... but not this year!!!! This year, we picked out own pumpkins at the patch, and today we washed, scooped out and carved them on our own!!!!
The Boy took a very long time to choose the face he wanted carved - The Girl went with Kitty almost immediately. Then Bubbie and and I set about doing the cutting and carving. I admit, my hands were tired.... lol. But, The Boy was so stinkin' excited - he was bouncing around the house and clapping and getting all excited. I was pretty proud of the finished products - not too shabby for my first attempt on my own.
Then we had to decorate the outside of the house - most of the blow up guys are ones I've collected over the years, but - shockingly, the giant 'Casper' ghost and the ghoul on the pumpkin are both over 9ft and were only $12 from Walgreens!!!!!!
Earlier in the day I got a call from El Capitan. I was dreading this call on two accounts, in the first place - we hadn't talked since I saw him after the Jamba Juice fiasco on Saturday. Second..... while he missed the last three holidays (his birthday, July 4th and Fathers Day - none of which he saw the kids for) *this* holiday has always been a big one for The Boy. I was *sure* he would call and want to see them.
I had already decided that I would invite him out to Trick or Treat with us - for at least part of the way. YES, I can already hear several of you shaking your heads...... it's not about 'being too nice' or 'keeping El Capitan in my mitts'..... I just figure that the kids would love to see him and go door to door with him and ask angry as he makes me - if he asked what our plans were, or asked to be apart of them, then I would extend the offer.
So he called and he was really upset.... there have been a few shocking employment changes by some of his closest friends (and by that I mean - you always have 'friends' at work - but may be not hang around outside work)..... which - now that Yoga Girl is back at college.... he might be feeling a bit lonely with life picking up and some of his work friends leaving......
The Boy and I were out shopping getting a few things for Halloween when he called. He was angry and very emotional and upset..... tired of work. Tired in general. I was nice...... I listened to what he said with a friendly ear - I even held back from asking him why he wasn't calling Yoga Girl to discuss his problems.
As I rounded the corner from muffins to cakes at Costco, I considered pointing out to El Capitan that he fired me from this job 6 months ago and that if he wants a shoulder to cry on.... mine was sent out to pasture a ong time ago.
But I didn't.
I just listened, gave him the same kind of solid advice and support I would have given him eight months ago and then I reminded him it was Halloween..... I waited for him to ask about our plans, but he didn't.
The Boy and I went back to shopping and loaded up the car. After a while I felt bad.... so I tried to call El Capitan back. No answer. I called two more times. No answer.
I was surprised... but not in a good way. I thought for sure if he were looking for an invitation to join us, then he would answer the phone.... but he didn't.
I was preparing myself for standing in the cold, making small talk and smiling through it all.... so that the kids could have us both there and be happy. That's what it's all about right... Happy Halloween.
But. He didn't answer. He didn't call back.
So, selfishly, I was happy because now I could just actually enjoy the holiday for a change. I wouldn't have to hear about how tired he was, or watch him check his phone every 2 mintues because "so-and-so needs help with this" or, "XXXX can't figure out how to close the store....".
Instead, it was just me and Blow-Up Guy and little Minnie Mouse. It was just me getting to hold their chubby little hands. It was just me getting to watch them run along the sidewalk, slipping just a little on the wet leaves. It was just me getting to watch them ring the doorbells and fight over whose turn it was to knock on the next door. It was just me getting to see their smiling faces running back down the driveway to show me their latest haul.
It was just me getting to watch them say, "twick or tweeeeeeeet?" and then after getting his loot, The Boy would turn around, bend over and say, "check out my underpants" - as the 'fat man' suit has a butt crack built into it. He finds this hilarious.... and thankfully, everyone else did, too. I'm not sure what made him more happy - the candy? Or, all the people saying to him, "THAT is the *best* costume ever!"
And Me.......? Well, I'm going to be honest: I was LOVING it. Pure and simple. My heart ached a little because not only was El Capitan not there to share in their joy, but... because he didn't appear to *want* to be apart of it. I'm not sure what he tells his friends... if he's anything like his brother, he's telling people I keep him away from the kids. I watched all that go down with him and my SIL.
But, I called, he didn't answer. He didn't call back.
The good news is, for once - *I* didn't care... for me anyway. I didn't care. I wasn't feeling lonely or sad or the usual feelings I have a 'scorned wife'.... in fact, once we were done carving - I didn't really think about him at all. I was too busy having fun with the kids.... too busy to think about Yoga Girl and whatever party they were most likely at.
Sadly..... and it didn't occur to me until we got home... but the kids actually didn't even ask about him. I'm actually shocked by that. Neither of them asked about Daddy or asked to see Daddy.... not one time.
On the one hand, I'm thrilled to see that may be just the three of us can be enough for them. I know that I can't 'replace' El Capitan, or 'fill his roll' in this family - nor should I even try to... but sometimes, it's hard when I'm busting my ass and doing things with them and then they either ask about him or ask to have him there.
So for me, it's nice that we did something on our own and.... *I* was enough for them.
However, it pains me that they didn't ask for him. I wish that wasn't something they were 'getting used to'. I wish....... well, I wish things were different, but they aren't, and I can't make them that way.
So, I faced down my first 'big' family holiday alone - and I survived! Not only that... but we thrived! We had a GREAT time..... we ran in the rain, collected the candy and sang along to Will Smiths 'Nightmare on My Street' parody as we drove around to get one last glimpse at The Boy's favorite houses.
I actually had to choke back the tears as we left our favorite house - it's the one we always save for last. They go all out - every year. They hang they witches in the tree's and suspend tons of them in mid-air! It's amazing. We usually go every day that they have stuff up leading up to Halloween - so the family there knows The Boy by name.... so this year after we trick or treated at their place and The Girl gave our her usual snuggles, we held hands to cross the street.
The Boy called out, "See you next year Halloween House!!!!!!"
My hand to G*d, I got a bit misty eyed when I realized that it truly *has* been a Happy Halloween - no faking or pretending or thinking about them..... just us - and we were happy..... I hope your Halloween was happy, too.