On our way to a trick or treating destination we were told about, we drove through the streets of the Hyde Park neighborhood, passing old houses that now looked good as new. The decorated porches and crooked sidewalks were now quickly filling with children. We changed our plans and decided to park the truck. This is where August would have her first real trick or treating Halloween, having had to sit the last one out at urgent care a year ago.
As we started down the street filled with families it was hard not to remember how these houses were mostly dilapidated rentals and home to students, often five to a shack. When Halloween fell on a weekend, just about every other front yard, carport or back porch was filled with costumed twenty somethings and a keg or three. Now I walked hand in hand with my three year old, tripping on the same uneven sidewalks from twenty years before, watching her happily head down walkways all by herself, up stairs to trick or treat. The Hyde Park folks were so festive and sweet, the trick or treaters were all so cute. It was by far the most idyllic Halloween I have ever had and one I hope that she remembers. She kept on saying,"I am so excited!" as she'd walk back to us from collecting her candy. We had to explain that you take one candy when offered a bowl full and, of course, be sure to say "Trick or treat" and thank you.
Her costume stood out among the many tiny toddler Star Wars and princess get ups. I was proud that she decided to be a bat and not a princess. All the compliments on her costume just made me happier as the night went on. Yes, I did a good job, I saw room for improvement, but a good job. August wanted me to be a witch. I had thought of perhaps Ozzy Osbourne circa 1982, with my little bat but... A witch is what I was and my costume impressed her.
We left Hyde Park just as it got dark and parked at my old neighborhood. The man at the corner still lived there and covered his yard with Halloween decorations. I finally got to share that corner with someone who found it at fun as I did all those years. At the end of the night, the plastic pumpkin was too heavy for August and filled to the top with candy. I never quite got that much candy in all my Halloweens. When we got home and emptied it out, I saw a wonderfully satisfied smile appear across her face. We all had so much fun. Before the evening was over, whilestill out trick or treating, August caught her shadow. "I'm a bat!" There it was, what a costume is all about. She stood there flapping her wings.