Pixie sticks are not bamboo

Posted by jdg | Wednesday, November 01, 2006 |

When we got home from trick-or-treating in the Summers' dream neighborhood last evening, and after we'd tackled all the houses in our Detroit neighborhood that were giving out candy, we brought Juniper into our house, her makeup smudged and mostly gone, and we stood her on the bathroom counter facing the mirror. "Who's that?" we asked.

"Juney Panda!" she shouted, and did a little dance and cackle. This was the inspiration for the costume her mother made for her, and she clutched it in her hand all day in anticipation of being a panda.

Earlier in the day I'd set her in front of the mirror with another costume (I'll write about that one later this week) and she stood there and laughed with such joy when she realized who she was dressed to be. For Wood and I, this Halloween dredged up all kinds of memories after that long interlude of slutty and ironic Halloweens. The holiday is such a wonderful chance for kids to use their imagination. There was such joy emanating from all the kids. I was a little worried about Max, though. I was concerned that all that joy was going to start shooting through his skin and do to the other children what the Ark of the Covenant did to that creepy Nazi at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

There was just something about being out with Juniper after dark in dancing flashlights, holding her little paw up the walkways onto the porches and into the province of strangers, teaching her there is one day where it is perfectly acceptable to accept candy from strangers and stare into their foyers and living rooms, inspect the art on their walls and imagine, for a second, what their lives are like and how different things would be if that was your house, hearing her say "trick or treat" and then, "tank you," while watching candy drop into her pumpkin. It was what it should be, after all.