...has been survived.

I managed to get all the errands done in the afternoon with time still for Ray and me to take a shower. It's difficult to convince her to get out of there before the water turns cold, but I did it. And even then there was time to do some yoga, so I didn't kill anyone or end up spraining something while dragging Ray around.

We waited. And waited.

The other little girl didn't show up. Phone constantly busy--ah, dialup.

Six thirty. I put a dish of candy outside the front door, buttoned Ray up, and heard voices outside the door. Kids. Big ones, about fifteen-sixteen. As I opened the door, one of them was stuffing the dish--the entire dish--into a bag large enough to hold an adult body of average height and weight.

"She's standing right here," one of the other said. "You better put that back."

F------ kids. I bet these are the same ones that keep knocking the rocks off the retaining wall.

Anyway, left another bowlful of candy outside the door, got out of the house, vroom vroom, and drove down the road to the mall.

By the time we got there, most of the candy was gone.

No, this was a good thing. Even though they were finishing up, we still had to wait a couple of minutes just to walk around a corner. So many kids! Ray didn't take trick or treating well until I convinced her that the plastic pumpkin filled with candy was hers, and she could put the candy into it instead of holding it all in one sweaty little fist and staring painfully at people when they offered her candy, because she'd run out of hands. She even let me hold the candy while she talked to Scooby Doo.

Nobody else had such a cute little elephant. A zombie dressed in blood, wig, bustier, transparant skirt, and g-string, pushing a stroller with a baby dressed as a duck, gushed: Oh izzu a ne'ffant den?

We wandered the mall and everyone else went to happier hunting grounds, places with more candy and fewer trick or treaters. It was fun. I don't know when the transition was made, but Ray's more fun to take windowshopping now. I don't know...she seems to understand that we're just looking at stuff, possibly poking it or cooing at it here and there. I don't have to carry her the whole way, and she'll hold my hand whenever there are just too many people.

We left about eight thirty, came home, rescued the empty candy bowl (which had not been stolen), listened to phone messages: the weather outside town had been so bad that the other girl's mom had turned around halfway out, stopped at the store for candy, and had gone home. As it turns out, the age of two may be the last time before post-adolescence that it's possible to do this without a screaming fit. --Well, you're at risk for screaming fits at any moment with a two year-old, but there you go.

We picked up Lee from work early, but Ray fell asleep in the car, so I lay her down, still dressed in her elephant suit (but without the hat, so no ears or trunk). Zonkzilla, as Lee likes to say.

And that was Halloween.


I remember my father driving us around in a blizzard to go trick or treating out in the country one year. At best, we'd hit about nine or ten places: I think we made it three that year, and shouldn't have gone to any, but dad was too stubborn to take us back before then (or unwilling to face the consequences of two kids with loooooong faces).

Lee laughs when I tell him about it, and says, "I always knew I liked your dad. He knows his priorities."