Who is ArcoJedi? A life-journeying Christian, ecstatic husband, proud father of four, web guru, all-around geek and Star Wars fanatic. Read these thoughts that he felt were worthwhile. Then wonder why he thought that way.

2010/11/01

Halloween

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This tribute pleases me.

I have always loved Halloween, although as an adult I've not always gotten myself a costume. I regularly want to do something in the Star Wars genre of costumes, but it's hard to do something original there. So very many of my fellow creative geeks are out there. And Halloween seems to sneak up on me faster every year. I delay putting any sort of creative time into planning a costume and ultimately end up not doing it.

But I do have fun with my kids every year trick-or-treating. The tradition is starting to form that Lisa stays home and hands out candy and the girls and I walk around. This year looked to be a little different. Both Reese and Olivia were invited to Halloween parties that night, so it was going to be just my wife and I and Sammy.

We'd bought all three of them costumes. Reese got a bee girl costume very reminiscent of the Blind Melon video from years ago. Olivia picked out a witch costume with a spider theme; a Spider Witch. For Sammy we got a cute lion costume.

In the morning, we had a full day at church with youth sunday. Reese and I played special music during offering --me on Trombone, Reese on Recorder-- with the two Bellinger boys on Trumpet. There was even a potluck lunch afterwards with lots of international themed foods. Then we came home and the girls each had some leftover homework they had to get through quickly before they could go to their parties.

Both girls had been invited by friends that we had not previously heard of or met before. Reese finished first and Lisa drove her to that party while I carved the pumpkin. She would be trick-or-treating there and wouldn't get back until 8 or 9pm. Then Olivia finished and Lisa got ready to drive her to her friend's house. She tried to look up the directions but couldn't find the street nearby. We called only to find out this was because the party was not nearby! Though the friend who had invited Olivia went to her school and lived really close, the party was actually at her Aunt's house, which was much farther away. We didn't know the neighborhood and weren't comfortable with her going. So, after conferring a bit on it, Lisa and I informed my youngest daughter that she couldn't go.

There were some tears, but I love that Olivia bounces back from things so very quickly. She doesn't see a reason to let things continue to both her. She goes with the flow. In less than an hour, she had adjusted her plans and waited patiently for it to get dark so we could trick-or-treat around the home neighborhood.

I had finished the jack-o-lantern and Sammy went down for a nap. I put it out on the porch and even threw up a few last minute decorations. I'd swear, the sun took forever to go down, but there were thin spooky clouds setting the right tone.

Since it was only Olivia and I, I let her choose which direction we set out first and which streets we turned down as we went. There are a lot of kids in our little corner of suburbia so there were a lot of places to go and costumes to see. We wandered the cul-de-sac and up the feeder street a bit. There's a pair of houses around the corner that make a really big deal every year and have an open house with hot dogs. Their street is closed off at each end and there has sometimes been a messy punk rock garage band that sets up in the middle of the street and offends everyone. This year, they were either absent or just hadn't set up yet. We were near that area and there was a well-lit decorated house with a bunch of teenagers out on the front porch. As we got close, I could hear a few cuss words coming from the group that I hoped Olivia didn't hear, but I didn't really think anything else. I thought Olivia would just walk up to door for candy just like every other house. But she took one glance at them from the sidewalk and started walking faster clinging to my hip the whole time. She said something about how teenage boys were mean. At first, I was surprised and started to say it was okay and she could go up to their door if she wanted. I was right here and she'd be safe. But then I realized she genuinely wanted nothing to do with them. So I encouraged her to follow her instincts. Thinking about it later, I realized I should have been more proud.

There was an interesting stellar bonus. Tonight, I saw what I think was a shooting star. The sky still had some clouds, but had cleared up a bit. I was looking up as Olivia and I were walking and talking and something streaked by and seemed to be falling apart as it did so. It was bright, but too fast and quiet to be an airplane. It disappeared as it went behind a cloud and didn't come out the other side. In that moment, I tried to point it out to Olivia, but I don't think she saw it.

There were certain houses with nice decorations that she absolutely had to visit. One of her friends lives in a house on the main street that has a giant animated spider. There was another house that had a ghost house in their garage last year, but they had toned it down this year. We saw some old friends and neighbors as we walked. The weather all night was nippy but nice, not too bad. I let Olivia lead us around until she was thoroughly tired. I'd forgotten to bring a watch or anything and I thought it was very late --9:30pm or 10-- by the time we got home. Turns out it wasn't even 8pm yet. Reese was back home, Sammy was awake and in his costume though he didn't appreciate it, and our friends the VanMeters had stopped by for a visit and to take pictures.

The girls did a big trade-off with their candy. Both girls had used pillow cases instead of plastic pumpkins. Olivia had gotten way more candy than Reese while she was at the party, but Olivia is picky about her taste in candy and traded generously her fruity sweet stuff for the chocolate stuff she really likes. I put the old Dracula movie on the Netflix and we all realized very quickly that it was somewhat boring. We all stayed up later than we probably should have, but that was our Halloween.

Good night everybody. I hope your night was a nice as mine.

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