Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

(To see the costumes, see the post immediately below this one.)

It's been a good night of trick or treating. We started out down at the other end of our street having a hot dog and covered dish dinner with Lynda's coworker's family. While there, we met up with one of Sarah's classmates (who sits right beside her incidentally). After the dinner Sarah, Grace, and A. teamed up to start canvassing the neighborhood.

Lynda took Hannah the Bee home to man the front porch while I got to know other parents and get some exercise walking around the neighborhood.

It is surprising how many of Sarah's classmates live all around us. Simultaneously, it is also sad how unaware I am of this fact. 

(Case in point . . . last weekend, Sarah was invited to one of her classmate's birthday sleepover party. When I googled the address to get directions to her house, the map informed me that she lived a block-and-a-half away. In as condescending a way as a mute computer screen could, it told me that it took "about 23 seconds" to go from our house to the destination.)

So, we are spectacularly uninformed. 

But, this is how we can start breaking out of our shell. From these small occurrences, perhaps we can forge new tendrils of relationships.

Grace got tired after about fifteen minutes and wandering back and forth through our neighborhood. So she peeled off for home to help Lynda hand out stuff from the porch. (They have always enjoyed the giving just as much as the receiving.) But Sarah kept going for a while with her friends A. and A. We parents talked about Halloweens past, political signs in the yards, and the absolutely wonderful weather. (When we started, the temperature was mid-60s with a blue sky and white fluffy clouds. It did get a bit colder when the sun sunk below the trees, but everything was much better than last year's cold, rainy night.)

All the parents and many of the older kids we encountered instantly recognized Sarah's costume--though they almost always thought she was Hermione at the initial guess. I was glad that she got such positive feedback from everyone. And I was very glad that she got to interact with her classmates. We kept on running across more and more of them as the night continued, all of them walking in packs. I was all for us combining our groups into a roving, marauding herd of candy bandits, but Lynda called me on my phone (equipped with Order of the Phoenix ringtone, to keep up with the theme) and asked me to come back home so she could take a break and get Hannah to bed.

So, I came home and I've been blogging on the porch while Sarah and Grace play with M. from next door. They've been handing out candy, running around in the dark whooping, and pretending to be new kids coming up to the porch to gather more candy. When I tell them that I'm not tricked by their game, they say that they are "advertising for other kids to come by." 

I say this every year on Beggar's Night, but it's nice to have people interacting with each other outside, away from the TVs and stuff. It's nice see your neighbors and fellow neighborhood dwellers sitting on their porch. It's nice to hear the chatter of kids excitement floating across the darkening air. It's not scary or spooky, but it is a vague reflection of the mythical (and possible entirely fictional) community that we want deep down in our muscle memory and are afraid to try and find. 

(Even though I think I was just slightly dissed by a preteen for the Obama sign in our yard . . . I think I'll stick to the hopeful tone that I am ending this post with. YES WE CAN!!)

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