Monday, November 03, 2008

All Saints

Halloween is over. Q, The Boy, and I certainly milked the holiday this year. Last Thursday, we attended a costume party put on by the parents of Q's classmate, Friday was official trick-or-treating, and Saturday was a costume-themed birthday party for a classmate of The Boy's. Needless to say, the kids obtained way too much candy and related trinkets — we did take our open bags along each of our building's 26 floors on Halloween night. The four of us will be indulging ourselves through the winter and long after, I'd guess.

Just yesterday, as the cold again descended on the yellowing leaves in the park, we busied ourselves inside. We had reprieved the pumpkins until mom came back, but she's had to stay longer in California than anyone expected with her own mother, Ba Ngoai, in order to somehow help bring her back from what has seized her so suddenly and meanly. (I'm leaving Q's hand at the top to help her find her way.) So instead of carving them with mom, we carved them for her — so that we could tell her about it, so that she could see our thinking about her affect the world (perhaps also so that I could confirm that thinking still does affect the world), so that she could have a pleasant place to put her mind for even a moment or two.

The kids drew the faces they wanted on their respective pumpkins, and I handled the knife. The Boy's (pictured above) turned out suitably scary, as did Q's. We roasted the excised seeds and actually ate some. When night came, we lit their candles and contemplated them, side by side, in the quiet and the dark. Such a simple idea that makes something so compelling. I sent Q and The Boy off to brush their teeth, blew out the jack-0-lanterns, appreciated the snake of smoke sliding out of the noses and eyes.

We miss you, mom, but we love you and are proud of what you are doing. There will be other Halloweens to haunt, many more pumpkins to submit to the carving knife. We know that you are where you are supposed to be right now.

Halloween is over. Now is the time of the saints.

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