Truthfully, I am a bit of a Halloween Scrooge. I like it in theory -- candy is tasty, pumpkins are carvable and also orange (my favorite color), and who doesn't like dressing up? (Max, as it turns out, but that part comes later in the story.) The thing is, having been a gestational diabetic one and a half times, and having been told in no uncertain terms by several doctors that sugar is not my friend and never will be, the candy has lost a certain amount of appeal. Plus, it turns out that Maggie really, really, really, really likes chocolate, and that she really, really, really, really really, really, really, REALLY gets hyper when she so much as licks a rudimentary crust of a single m&m. AND, no one likes carving the pumpkins except me, and I feel sort of like a tragic figure sitting by myself caressing pumpkin innards while Ian and the kids play elsewhere. AND, most importantly, costumes for kids are either expensive (if you buy them) or time-consuming (if you make them), and the weather in California is such that no matter what you do, you are gambling. (I dressed Max in a fur wolf suit for his first Halloween. It was 87 degrees. I still feel guilty.)
Max went through several costume ideas -- Wall-E, Buzz Lightyear, Green Lantern, a Crisnol (no, he doesn't mean crysTal, but beyond that, I have no idea what a crisnol is or what it looks like, so I was relieved when that costume idea was abandoned) -- and finally settled on Batman. My parents found a Batman costume in a thrift store, Max pronounced himself pleased, and we all felt the warm glow of an issue resolved. I was going to put a monster face on the hood of one of Maggie's sweatshirts, but then I didn't, and at the last second I found a little butterfly suit on sale, and while it is not the most practical purchase ever (I think she's already outgrown it, and it is a hand-wash only item, which, please), she was a delight to behold in it and so I felt good about that, too. Our plan was to swing through the downtown Halloween party circuit, eat a prudent but decadent amount of sugar, and then maybe watch a spooky episode of Word World with Ian when he got home.
However, like the saying goes, the best laid plans of bats and butterflies so often go awry. Max liked his costume, but it offended him in some way, too. He said that it was itchy, but I don't really think that was the problem. I think that it just freaked him out somehow to have his identity messed with. When he was called Batman, he firmly disagreed, reminding all and sundry that he was "just a Max". He reluctantly kept his costume on long enough for me to take some not-very-good pictures (see my last post), and then shed it in favor of a Halloween-themed tee and some spooky orange crocs. Then, with the fact that Max had no costume and was not in favor of costumes in general, the fact that it was raining, and the fact that by the time we got all of the costume-no-costume hullabaloo squared away it was 4 pm, we decided to skip the downtown thing. I was feeling badly -- Max and Maggie are still little enough not to care too much, but still -- and so I proposed a walk to the park in between rain bouts.
The park -- and this is the point of my freakishly long and rambling tale -- was AWESOME. The rain and the Halloween combined to make it more or less deserted, the light was that weird late-afternoon raincloud light, and we had a delightful romp. And, while we romped, I took a bunch of pictures (and I do mean A BUNCH, so I hope you are sitting in a comfy chair if you are planning on scrolling through all of them), and they all turned out a million times better than my sad attempts at posed pictures at home. I am not sure what the moral of this story is, other than that I need to blog more often so that I don't get all pent up and then write an epic novel like this has turned out to be, but we had fun in unexpected ways, and now, thanks to Daylight Saving Time ending (curse you, Daylight Saving Time, and may a thousand potato bugs crawl over your lonely grave!), both children are asleep in bed at the unheard of hour of 7:52. Good Times.