The day had a plan. Most of my days do. It began with getting Kiki up early so that she could don her elf ears and make up. Fortunately I only had to poke her awake and then I went back to bed for another hour. The result was quite lovely.
In so many ways Kiki is coming into her own this year. Most of the costumes she’s had in the past few years have fit her awkwardly, identities which did not quite suit. She would come home from school eager to shed the costume and be normal again. This elf costume is different. She kept it on and volunteered to shepherd the younger kids for trick or treating. It suits her. She loved wearing it and plans to pull it out again for conventions and other costumish events in the future. I dropped her off at school that morning happy, and she still was happy at the end of the day.
The other three kids had more mixed experiences with their Halloween celebrations. Patch was Steve from Minecraft, who I’m assured is a very cool thing to be. I watched lots of Patch’s peers recognize him and praise Patch for the costume.
The trouble for Patch arrived during PE when the class was playing dodge ball. He got hit in the face with a ball, more specifically he took a direct hit to his left eye, at short range, and it happened so fast that the eye was unable to blink in time. The first I knew of the problem was when he called me from school. I went to the school and played 20 diagnostic questions with Patch, trying to figure out whether this was a case for taking it home or taking it to the doctor. There were enough concerning answers (but thankfully no alarming ones) that I decided a doctor was called for. Fortunately we snagged an appointment with the regular doctor rather than needing to go to the emergency room. I must say I was not impressed with the substitute teacher who seemed to think that Patch should just tough it out.
The diagnosis was a scratched cornea. The scratches were quite obvious once the doctor dripped florescent dye on the eye and shone a black light over it. I could see half a dozen little scrape marks. The florescent dye itself was interesting. I told Patch we were giving him a zombie eye for Halloween, which he thought sounded exciting. Of course he needed a picture.
So we have a creepy glowing eye of Patch for Halloween. Sadly, in normal light, it just looked as if we spilled something yellow on his eye. The photo is just blurry enough to obscure the scratches. We have ointment and reassurance that the scratches will heal up in a week or so.
Medical adventures with Patch chewed up the afternoon I was supposed to use helping Howard prep for convention departure tomorrow. Link and Gleek both came home from school grouchy. Gleek discovered that platform heels have some significant disadvantages when worn all day. She also spilled on her costume dress and was afraid it was ruined forever. We laundered it before trick or treating and all was well again. It became even better when Gleek realized that if she ditched the shoes, she could make the dress flow behind her as she ran. Link’s grouchiness settled out, but returned after a Halloween party which was part fun and part socially complicated. Sorting out the social complications required sitting down and talking for a bit.
There was pizza for dinner, purchased on the same run when I picked up Patch’s eye ointment. The kids vanished out to trick or treating and parties leaving me to answer the door. We had a reasonable number of visitors, but I definitely over stocked on the candy. It is probable that many kids skipped our house because the porch light is broken and we never got around to carving pumpkins. We never even got around to buying pumpkins. Deep inside me there is a small wistfulness at the lack of pumpkins, but mostly I am grateful that the kids never seemed to notice this lack or care about it. One less thing to do is a good today. In between answering the door I packed up artwork and ran loads of laundry.
Children arrived home with piles of candy. The run through the neighborhood made Gleek, Patch, and Kiki all happy. I was happy that Kiki went out with them, that she had a chance to be out trick or treating, because next year she is unlikely to be at home for Halloween. Also, I was glad to not trail after kids when I had so many things waiting to be done. Link came home from his party mostly happy, but needing to talk. Then the more that he talked, the more the difficult parts of the day emerged. Until I had to distract him with a video and warmed up pizza.
What with one thing and another it became 10 pm and half the kids were in bed. I finally had time to sit and think thoughts about the day. I like Halloween. This one felt a bit more chaotic than usual because it coincided with convention preparations. But it is always fun to see so many people taking time to put together and wear costumes. This expression of play is very good for communities. I like that the whole school day bends around the Halloween celebrations. I love seeing all the cleverness. Like the mother dressed as the Cat in the Hat with her pair of twins dressed as Thing 1 and Thing 2.
I like seeing familiar characters and much newer ones. I particularly liked this friendly little robot.
It is good to see the classics still being loved.
It was a chaotic day. One that was constantly rearranged. It had moments of frustration like the mason jar candle that is impossible to light without an extra long match. Moments of joy as when I photographed Gleek mid-run and Kiki the elf near a tree. Moments of amusement observing Kiki’s text conversation with a friend. It was a day where I spent eight hours on my feet running from one thing to the next. Yet it was a good one. And now, sleep.