Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Spirit Endures

Mysterious Halloween Jack-o-lantern | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Who was responsible for the mysterious
jack-o-lantern delivery? 
When the boys were little, we participated in all the family holiday clichés. We baked cookies, prepared Valentine's, dyed eggs, and carved pumpkins. It was a lot of fun, albeit a bit time consuming, costly, and physically exhausting. And while Santa and the Easter Bunny still make annual appearances in the middle of the appropriate nights, as the boys got older and began to lose interest, we slacked off on other activities. But in our defense, Hubby and I have been going on the assumption that the boys just weren't into it anymore.

But they are my boys. They have my genes. I should have known better.

In their creative ways, and with the help of their friends, they've reminded me that activities that define a holiday never get old. At least, I assume it was my children and their friends. It could have been the Spirit of the Holiday.

Childhood Pumpkin Carving Memories | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
My oldest mentoring his little brothers on
pumpkin-carving etiquette. 
This year, I barely decorated for Halloween. We have a wreath on the door and a few skeletons dancing in the breeze as they dangle festively from our trees. I also strung up some lights. But we keep forgetting to turn them on. Meanwhile, I never did get around to picking up a pumpkin for carving. And I've fallen into the habit of putting off purchasing candy for trick-or-treaters until an hour before they start ringing the doorbell.

My youngest child, the one who still lives at home with us, never mentioned anything about pumpkin carving this year, so I wasn't worried. But someone was worried. Because we do have a jack-o-lantern. And we were instructed to make sure it is lit tonight.

Throwback Thursday Halloween | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
My middle and youngest work hard
to prepare the pumpkin for carving.
While I was out yesterday, a car slowed down in front of our house. My youngest was outside walking his dog. The people in the car identified themselves as siblings of his brothers' friends. They handed him the carved pumpkin and drove off, but not before noting that it needed to be lit on Halloween night.

When I arrived home, I asked my son about the jack-o-lantern. Had he purchased and carved it on his own? A feeling of guilt washed over me. But he didn't buy or carve it. He explained the odd drive-by drop-off. He told me we were to make sure it was lit on Halloween night.

Did his brothers arrange the delivery? Or did the Spirit of Halloween decide to call me on my lack of holiday spirit? We may never know. But I can assure you the jack-o-lantern will be glowing tonight to greet costumed children while I offer up delicious treats.

Jack-o-lantern Memories | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
The final results of the collaborative
efforts of my children, when they were
young, with a little help from their mom.
And just so the Spirits of other holidays know, we will bake cookies for Santa this year. We will dye Easter eggs in the spring. And next fall, our yard will be filled with intricately carved spookiness of the squash variety.


Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at)
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