Trick or Treat
The costumes are cheap, held together in back with two Velcro tabs. The fabric extra soft polyester, easily torn or pulled apart. But the colors are bright and Graham squeals when he sees that he'll be Spider Man for the night. And even though Sloan prefers Elsa to Anna from Frozen she's delighted with the Anna costume, especially the little pink cape.
Dressed, armed with plastic pumpkin buckets, and chaperoned by my parents and myself they're impatient to be out past their bedtime and wandering the streets.
Graham doesn't hesitate as we go from house to house. He's the first one in and the first one out, commenting on decorations and proclaiming his love of candy as he goes. Sloan is more reserved. Her grip on my hand is firm and her expression solemn in the face of strange hellos though she gladly accepts candy.
At each house Graham, voice raised and words running together, says "Trick or treat! Thank you! Happy Halloween!" Sloan waits until we're safely away from the door before saying, "Momma! Momma! Candy!" And right now everyone is Momma so it's hard to tell who she's speaking to. But it's very important that she share, in case we'd like to go knock on the door for ourselves.
We don't go far and Graham is the first to ask if this house is the last. My dad carries him part of the way home, my mom beside them. Sloan and I behind them, far enough back that for a moment it feels like memory instead of present and my dad is carrying my brother instead of my son. For a moment, as we pass in and out of porch lights, my Halloween nights run together and become one endless stream of candy and costumes.
In classic toddler fashion they both demand to wear their costumes the next morning. Graham jumps and makes whooshing noises, Sloan drops the little cape in my lap and refuses to remove her pajamas until it's fastened around her shoulders.
We leave my apartment as we returned to it the night before, fully costumed and carrying pumpkins full of candy. It's still dark when I drop them with their grandparents so I can go to work and when the door opens they both say "Trick or treat!"