My first memory of Halloween is standing outside my house while my dad took my photo. I was dressed as a ballerina and only noticed years later that my shoes were on the wrong feet. I wish I could find that picture now but in all honesty I don't really need it. I have this photo: not a ballerina but a leopard boasting the same glee and self-satisfaction years before it's deemed unbecoming to feel such things.
And then this. God: this. I mean, really, I want to lick my hand and pass it firm over her head and behind her ears like a mama leopard, nudging my forehead into hers, a kiss. (And then, truth be told, I want to push her father into our bedroom to make a hundred more babies just like this, like her, a hundred and one kitten Zoeys, though something tells me that is not a compliment any child wants to hear, much less in the face of so much leopard print.)
Another Halloween memory, years later: I was maybe ten, old enough to trick or treat with a friend unchaperoned. My friend was dressed as Pippi Longstocking, I was Mommie Dearest. We cut through a park holding our pillowcases of Sweetarts and Reece's when a group of teenage boys crowded around us to steal our candy. My friend had wire in her braids to make them bend up like Pippi's, and the boys, they bent her wires down like two arms broken and we cried. Why are you doing this? I asked, and they said, Because we're older! And when you're in the tenth grade you'll do it, too! I am very happy to report that I never stole anyone's candy, not even in the tenth grade. Although when I think back to that memory I do kind of laugh now, the image of those braids pointing out and then down. The best thing about Halloween is having a very good friend with whom to trick or treat, and a mom who will let you raid the candy bowl when you come back without your pillowcase, even if it was one of her good ones.
Next up: Thanksgiving, though you'll be happy to note I have never been a fan of this day of turkey and dirty dishes, football, leaves on tables too long, crevices stuffed with necks. Still--perhaps the day could be improved if I wore my mustache? Got a little cranberry sauce on the tip there? And don't even get me started on those turkeys that kids make by tracing their hands, the thumb dripping with a little wobbly gobbly, the pinky glop-topped with an feather dyed orange. Good god, if Zoey presents me with one of those construction paper bad boys I am totally going to lose it, sell my soul to Hallmark and call myself a mommyblogger without even a hint of apology. My kid is the cutest facking leopard ever! Hear me roar!