Several weeks ago, I picked up the Halloween issue of Martha Stewart Living. I do this every year even though I am often reduced to tears when I attempt to recreate her masterpieces. The kids get just as excited for the magazine as I do because it fills their heads with ideas - crazy ideas - and they are foolish enough to believe that I can bring them to fruition. This year, Miguel became fascinated with the picture and recipe for meringue bones while Zeca became obsessed with the children's vampire costume. I can bake cookies. I can make tarts. I can spot a bed bug at twenty paces which has absolutely nothing to do with baking and is completely disgusting but, hey, it's a skill. I cannot, however, sew. As much as I'd like to be the mom that makes Halloween costumes, I am the mom that buys Halloween costumes. But, I promised Zeca a vampire costume and I promised her a beard just like the one in Martha Stewart's magazine. I picked up the vampire costume at Target and Zeca looked at it skeptically. "It doesn't look like Martha Stewart's", she said. "It's all in the accessorizing!", I said. "I want a beard just like the kid in the magazine", she said. "And you shall have it!", I said. Halloween night arrived and it was time for the kids to get into their costumes. It was cold outside so I told Zeca that she needed to wear a fleece jacket under her vampire costume. She refused. I insisted. She refused. I yelled. She yelled. I told her she wouldn't go trick-or-treating. She told me that she would, in fact, be going trick-or treating. I forced her into an oversized jacket. She screamed and said that it ruined the look of her costume. I told her to sit on the couch because she wasn't going anywhere. She sat on the couch and cried but it was the cry of a defiant child more than that of a sad one. Luisa quietly got a couple of thinner layers, dressed her and dried her tears. The whole process took so long that I wanted to skip the beard. She said that she had to have the beard. So, I sat her down at the dining room table and began applying the strands of hair to her chin. We didn't speak. Applying a beard takes awhile and the process was fairly calming so, about halfway through, I asked "Are you still made at me?" She said, "Yes." I said, "That's okay. I'm still mad too." More time passed and the beard was finished. She looked at herself in the mirror and said, "Bring me my blood capsule and teeth" like I was her lady in waiting. I helped her pop the capsule in her mouth and insert her fangs. We took pictures and headed across the park.
As we walked through the park to our friends' house, I reached our for her hand and she grabbed mine. I asked, "Are you still mad at me?" She said, "No." I said, "Me either." I smiled and she smiled and fake blood ran down her face. It was a beautiful moment. Well, beautiful in its own way.
p.s. I made the meringe bones and they turned out. They weren't quite as perfect as the ones in the magazine but darn close.
p.p.s. I couldn't bear writing about the election here at UPAF today but I wrote a little something for Grace the Spot. Very little.