It’s been three years since Halloween fell on “my” time.
But, today, Halloween is mine.
My holiday season begins in October, and spans through the beginning of January. The air moves from frying eggs on the concrete temperatures to being able to walk outdoors without immediately breaking a sweat. It’s not cold, but it’s fall, and I can feel the season changing. Toward the end of October, the air shifts, and brings with it a certain smell that I can’t quite describe–but it reminds me of being with my grandparents, so I love it.
Unfortunately, I’m a greedy, selfish person, and I want my son with me during all of these moments–from Halloween to the New Year.
Unfortunately, the court system understands how greedy and selfish I want to be, and breaks the time spent with my child into days, weekends, holidays, and summers. Some of these weekend holidays are specific to certain weekends, like Easter and Halloween.
These holidays rarely fall on “my time,” and I hate it.
Did I mention that every holiday, beginning in October and spanning through January, is my favorite holiday?
I hate not having my kid on my favorite holidays. Knowing why he’s not with me, and knowing that the alternative would be to have remained with a mentally abusive dingbat, does nothing to diminish the fact that I’m greedy and selfish, and I want my kid all the time.
As my kid’s parent, that longing should be expected.
According to my Facebook today, my first divorced Halloween was five years ago. Tiny was two, and he was so tiny. He wanted to be Woody from Toy Story, so I dressed up as his trusty female counterpart, Jessie. He was excited to storm the neighborhood on his first “real” Halloween–the Halloween in which they can walk, talk, and ask for candy.
I had been divorced for all of seven months, my season had finally arrived, and I could finally celebrate October-January the way that I wanted to celebrate it. The only holiday I didn’t have that year was Thanksgiving, but because he hadn’t yet started school, and because of my ex’s work schedule, I was still going to be able to see him during that time.
Everything felt magical.
The next year, when Tiny was three, I was not as thrilled. The spirit of the season had waned. I was finally feeling the drain of single motherhood, and it would be my first Christmas without my child. I didn’t want to dress up, I didn’t want to be happy. I wanted to crawl under a rock with my kid, and just stay there.
That year, it was my child who renewed my faith in the holiday season; it was my child who reminded me why I love this season so much. It was my child who saw the magic that I’d always felt, and taught me how to live through his eyes.
That was my last Halloween with him.
During those three Halloweens, we still celebrated the beginning of my season. We had the pumpkin patch pictures, which always cause me angst, but we didn’t have the day–the day of costumes, candy, children, and chaos.
I didn’t have the magic with me.
The first Halloween without my child fell on a Thursday. Thursday is not “my day.” The only thing I remember about that Halloween was that I must have had a Napoleon complex that month, knowing that my child was not going to be with me. If I didn’t have the day, then I was going to buy and carve the biggest pumpkin in the patch. Not only did that aggravate my gimp knee, but I also laid myself out for about a week.
During the second Halloween without my kiddo, I was so elated that I decided to have knee surgery. If I was going to feel the loss of not having him with me, I might as well combine it with pain, right?
Last Halloween, Mr. M, Lil Dude, and I dressed as ninjas. We built a fog machine, rolled out some awesome spiders on a larger-than-life web, and marched all over the neighborhood scoring candy.
Tiny wasn’t there, though. It was an epic day, I got to be a ninja, but I didn’t have my kid. I felt the monumental loss, as always, during an event in which he should be there–an event that is, due to court-mandated visitation schedules–entirely lopsided.
Tonight, though? All mine.
My ex got three Halloweens in a row, from age three to age six. I get the next three, until Tiny Tot is ten. Then it moves back to him, and he’ll get ages eleven through thirteen.
Who knows, maybe I’m lucking out. Tiny won’t be so tiny after age ten, and he probably won’t want Mommy encroaching on his candy looting abilities, anyway. He’ll have friends who will want to do things that I won’t want to know about–like TPing someone’s house and egging someone’s car.
… I’ve never done any of that, I’m just being entirely hypothetical right now. I wouldn’t know what to do with toilet paper outside of a bathroom, or eggs outside of the kitchen.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Still, tonight is mine. I’ll morph into a sword-wielding, rebel Snow White, Tiny will become a Halo solider–unless he decides to be Hulkbuster or a Star Wars droid guy (apparently it’s not a droid, but I don’t know what it’s called). We’ll go over to Sally Francis’ house, and the cousins will wreak havoc in her neighborhood, shouting, “Trick or Treat!” to all the neighbors.
Tonight the magic of my world returns, and I can’t wait to see what it brings.