Halloween isn’t supposed to be complicated. It isn’t known for family drama. It isn’t known for political reformation like Thanksgiving. It’s the easy, gateway holiday. This year was the first year it fell on a day my ex-husband normally has my daughter.
I didn’t think he’d care about it. He’s from France. They don’t really do Halloween there. It hasn’t caught on. But he has friends here in American that do. His friends have one of those houses you see on your block that is completely transformed on October 29th. The house is full of people the 31st. The house is tidy November first. And he wanted our daughter to enjoy it.I wanted to walk from house to house watching people admire her costume. I wanted to remind her to say thank you. My parents had done that for me.
Compromise is survival trait when you are divorced. So is adapting to shifting circumstances. We sent a series of restrained emails. We queried the contested child. It led us to agree on her splitting her time between trick or treating with me and attending the party. We calculated the amount of driving and handing off and potential drama. we settled on her trick-or-treating with me first. After I’d drive her over.
One key problem arose. She didn’t have a costume at my house. Well, she didn’t have the costume she expected to wear. Our house is lousy with costumes; she goes to the Farmer’s Market as a Pirate and the car wash as a ninja. As well, she could be an elf or a princess or a mermaid or a asian princess in a kimono. Just not a fox. Fox was at Pappa’s house. She disappeared into her bedroom. I took the pumpkin out to the front yard to disembowel it.
And there among the Styrofoam tombstones appeared the miracle. A snowy white elf with green wings and and pale white arms and legs, and a crown of flowers. She had mashed up a mix and invented herself.
All the driving is worth it. All the emails are worth it. She’s worth it.