House looks like a tornado hit it. Middle boy is sick with fever. Big boy, teenager, is out with friends, taking the train to his trick or treating destination. Girl is pulling together a fancy version of a pilgrim from the dress up bin, Grandma’s nightgown gets yet another life. Sick boy is debating going door to door or just sitting on the porch with the candy bucket, costume is in progress as I type, what should I write, H1N1 virus? And I wonder what will the neighbors think? He is using fabric markers from the day care and a painting t-shirt with a picture of the Grand Canyon turned inside out (from my trip cross country after college), twenty years in my cupboard, finally turned into a costume. Maybe I’ll just draw a pig on it says the boy, as the girl debates hair in or out of the white fabric kerchief, debates cutting off the trailing torn layer of filmy petticoat with scissors. I have always been grateful for children who expect little of me for Halloween costumes and school projects and here they are.

Pumpkin is carved on the table, big boy arrived around 1 pm from his Halloween dance turned sleepover at a graduated friend’s house, to help with chores, eat lunch, talk, play music, cut the top off the pumpkin, shower, whisk himself into his bat man gone mad costume, wearing another of my odd treasures, a fuzzy animal print jacket, and another, a fancy pink men’s shirt with french cuffs. I catch only the corner of his cape with the camera as he runs down the stairs to catch the bus to the train.

The kids will trick or treat with their dad around the block while I pass out candy on the porch, glimpsing kids we wonder about all year long who appear this once, in real life, but disguised, not the neighborhood I grew up in where every kid was a playmate, but familiar just the same.

Best sign off to get the last few pics of the kids getting ready. Fun to take pictures this year of the process, house wreck be d—–, for now, just have fun. Trick or treat!