Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick, Treat, Trigger

Halloween.  A high holiday for the children who celebrate.  Dressing up.  Parties and costume parades.  The trick or treating.  The treats!  How often do you get to eat so many sweet treats in one day?!

I remember how much I looked forward to it when I was a kid and how much fun I had.  Heck, even as an adult, my husband and I are going to two costume parties this weekend! It's fun to get to dress up and "be" someone different!

When I first had kids, I couldn't wait to dress them up!  How I looked forward to finding just the right costume and re-discovering the joy through their eyes.  When I had the twins I was beyond excited!  From their little pumpkin hats the year they were born just 9 days before Halloween, to the Mickey and Minnie costumes the next year, and the Tinker Bell and Peter Pan costumes the year after that...It was so much fun to have Halloween costume themed birthday parties and coordinate their costumes!

Then, Halloween 2004.  A "butterfly princess" and "Larry Boy" from Veggie Tales.  They didn't match!  They were 3.  They wanted to be something different.  And so it was.  Their birthday party was Finding Nemo themed.  It was an eclectic year.  Little did I know it would be the last Halloween all my children would be on this earth.  The last Halloween my little princess would get to be the princess of her choosing.  The year so many of my parenting dreams died...

Now, I decorate her grave with pumpkins and a new Tinker Bell wand.  I hang a pink glowstick on Halloween.  My Halloween is nothing like I imagined it would be.

Halloween now is one of those trigger days. A  day when I know I could be blindsided at any moment by a memory, a little girl, twins... Even though I logically know it can and probably will happen, and anticipate it, it somehow always surprises me when it happens.

This morning, it was courtesy of Facebook.  Meg's twin brother has another set of twins in his class.  They are also boy-girl twins.  Their mom posted a picture of their costumes this morning.  They dressed up as each other!  It was awesome and brilliant and absolutely adorable.  I felt like I'd been punched in the gut.  I was momentarily angry.  That should have been ME!  I should be posting pictures of my twins being clever like that!

Then, the other pictures of twins in their Halloween outfits began to pop up in my feed.  Of course the boy-girl ones hit me the hardest, but I find myself a wee bit resentful.  Why are they so lucky?  Why am I the "one"?  I click "like" and move on.

My boys no longer dress up.  It's just not cool.  I admit, I'm anti-trick or treat now.  I'm a curmudgeon who turns off the lights and goes out for dinner instead.  I just can't deal.  I feel badly.  And I don't.

But tomorrow is my day.  Her day.  Our day?  Tomorrow is All Souls Day.  The Day of the Dead. We celebrate Meggie tomorrow.  Not the way I would like to, but suddenly, November 1st holds much more meaning than October 31st.

I promise you  I'm not the only one who feels this way. So be sensitive to those you know who share my shoes.  Tell them you understand how hard this must be for them.  Maybe offer a hug.  It's the best treat out there.