Tag Archives: trick or treat

MomDay Monday – HallowTeen


“He’s 13. He’s too old for trick or treat,” said a coworker.

I kept my mouth shut. I wasn’t sure I wanted to admit that my two – now ages 14 & 11 – still trick or treat. Still plan their costumes out for more than a month. Still have a bunch of their friends over to our neighborhood where they all head out together.

Except for one brief moment when The Girl asked if I thought she was too old to trick or treat this year, there really is no question. I panicked when she asked. “But this night is just about the most fun we have in this neighborhood,” I thought. So the idea that maybe they wouldn’t go this year kind of threw me.

Maybe that’s all it is – our neighborhood. We live on a big wide street with an island in the middle. The crowds are everywhere. People come from other towns to trick or treat in our neighborhood. Part of that is because our town holds trick or treat the Saturday before October 31. This year, when October 31 was actually on a Saturday, I assumed everyone would stay in their own towns & we’d have less of a crowd. I was wrong. We usually end up with about 1,000 people coming to our door. Or more accurately, our porch. No one stays inside waiting for the doorbell to ring. There are just too many people so we all sit on our front porches. Friends & family join me & people stop to pose their kids for pictures under the large archway over my front walk. I hope they’re not too disappointed when they notice me in the background, smiling & toasting their little darling with my skull-shaped wine glass. Often, there is a line down my walkway, under the arch & onto the sidewalk.

Friends on the porch

Friends on the porch

Maybe that’s really all it is. The camaraderie. Not just for the neighbors, but for my kids. Even though I hear complaints about teenagers trick or treating, I love it when they come to my door. Sure the little kids are cute – downright adorable, even. But the teenagers usually make my night.

Some of them are shy – almost as if they feel like they shouldn’t be out doing this – and that’s mostly the girls. But their elaborate make up & outfits are usually amazing. The guys though…. throw on a Scream mask with your jeans & hoodie or your high school football uniform, put your backpack on your front with the zipper open & it’s candy city! Perhaps I’m looking through rose-colored glasses or maybe it’s what’s in my skull-shaped wine glass but these kids are great. They’re funny, polite & they’ll usually stop to tell me about their football team or pose for a picture if I ask.

Nightmare fuel

Nightmare fuel

Maybe it’s part preservation. Don’t be grumpy to the teenagers when they come to the door & there’s less of a chance I’ll wake up to toilet paper covering my house. Maybe it’s that I hope my neighbors are being nice to the crowd I sent out. Whatever it is, I enjoy their presence. I think teenagers are fascinating people. They’re old enough to have well thought out opinions, their humor is starting to be more sophisticated & their world view is getting larger. I know there are many who feel like my coworker. That there’s an age limit on trick or treat but I disagree.

As long as I’m sitting on this front porch, there will be candy for anyone who wants it. Sometimes I’ll even give them a few extra. They’re still growing & let’s face it – it takes about 30 of those mini Snickers to make a full size bar. Who knows. Maybe next year is the year The Girl decides she’s not going. But as long as this crowd is still with her, I bet she’ll be out there.

The gang

The gang

MomDay Monday – Cancer Isn’t Funny, Is It?


I know what you’re thinking. “Every post isn’t going to be about cancer is it?” No, but obviously, this is something that is on my mind right now so indulge me if you will. After all… I have cancer. You have to be nice.

I’ve explained to The Kids what’s happening with me & am doing my best to be honest with them. I had a friend tell me that his mom died of breast cancer, and no one told him or his sister for more than a year. He said what they imagined was so much worse than the reality & wished his parents had been up front. That conversation was huge in my decision to tell the kids everything. I had initially thought that I would tell them I was having surgery, but I didn’t need to actually say The “C” Word, did I? But I noticed as I said it more, it took on less power. It became less scary. The first few times I told someone I had breast cancer, I started crying as I said it. The last time I told someone, I didn’t really bat an eye. Just told them. Then gently pushed their lower jaw back together with the rest of their face & moved on.

The following was part of a text exchange that took place shortly after I was diagnosed with my beautiful niece – let’s call her, oh, say… Alyssa.

Alyssa: “Do the kids know about the cancer? That word is terrible. I feel guilty even saying/typing it. Like if I whisper, it won’t hear me.”

That’s when I realized… Cancer is like the Voldemort of diseases. It has become “It That Cannot Be Named.” And dammit, I’m going to do what I can to stop that. What I’m trying to say is a long, convoluted way of explaining why I wanted to be fully honest with The Kids. Why hide it? Why create more of a stigma around it? And why make my family & friends tip toe around it  & wonder what & how much The Kids know.

So I sat them down one night – it was right after Trick or Treat so they were all sugared up & ready to have a good ol’ serious one-on-one with mom. I told them that I had something that needed to be taken care of & that I was going to be having surgery. Then I asked them if they knew what cancer was.

The Boy: “I’ve heard of breast cancer.”

The Girl: “Me too. We did that walk with Girl Scouts, remember?”

Me: “Awesome. (high fives all around) Do know what cancer is?”

lots of head shaking

Me: “It’s a disease where bad cells start growing in a person’s body & if it’s not taken care of, those bad cells will start to take over good cells. Mine was found really early so once I have surgery, I’ll have some other treatments & then hopefully it will be all gone. Does that make sense?”

And this is where the sugar kicks in….

The Girl: “So it’s like the bad cells are sitting there telling the good cells: ‘Come to the dark side. We have cookies.”

Me: “Um…. Something like that…”

The Boy: “See, I pictured it more like the bad cells got hit by lightning & mutated into like a Godzilla thing & started rampaging through your city.”

Me: “Okay… so we seem to have a clear grasp of what’s going on. Any questions?”

The Girl: “So where is your cancer?”

Me: “In my boob.”

The Boy: “I will pay you to not ever say ‘boob’ again.”

They have both since had good days & bad days. The Boy wanted to be home with me immediately following the surgery, claiming that he needed to be here to help me. The Girl has told everyone she’s met & has often come home with comments such as, “My CCD teacher has cancer, too. He’s going to call you.” I’m glad she’s talking about it. She’s probably reached more people than this blog.

One thing that many people have told me is to maintain my sense of humor. It seems as though The Kids are trying to take that approach as well.

Of course, nothing has made me laugh more than a comment made by The Joan as she was trying to explain my particular type of breast cancer: “It started in her Milk Duds.”

She may need her own blog.