(This week, I'm very excited to welcome Anne, from Muse Mama, here for Friday Frenzy. When I first found her website, whose tagline reads "Life with a big family, a glass of wine and a touch of snark," I knew I'd fall in love. Then, to find out she's a witchy tree hugger like me- I immediately bookmarked her site. Her posts are real, heartfelt and really make you think, all while making you snicker to yourself because she lays it out as it is, and you can totally relate. Thank you, Anne, for participating, and everyone should definitely check her out!! ~Tatted Mom)
Halloween is Supposed to Be Magical
I’m a witch. And Halloween (or Samhain as we call it) is a big holiday for us. Not for the reasons most people think, really. We don’t celebrate because it’s a day about witches and such. It’s a day about witches and such because it’s always been a Pagan celebration.
Samhain is our New Year, it’s our third harvest celebration, and it’s the day we believe that the veil is thinnest between this world and the next. So, on Samhain we honor our loved ones who’ve gone to the other side, with feasts and offerings.
This is the time we see our world changing, moving into winter when the earth will lie dormant. The Mother Goddess is in her third aspect: the Crone. And yet, we can see all the promises of a spring to come. Because in our faith death is never just death. It’s part of the cycle of birth and rebirth. Death is a hopeful promise of a new beginning.
So, you’d think me, at home, with seven children, we would be all over Halloween. There should be nothing but pumpkins on our doorsteps, and I should dust off my pointy hat to greet trick-or-treaters at the door.
There should be lavish costumes and laughter, as we toast the autumn, and revel in in its splendor.
It should all be magical.
Let me tell you, it’s never how I picture it.
Last Halloween I decided to take all the littles trick-or-treating with my neighbors.
Costumes were all put together hastily at the last minute by things gifted to us, leftovers from Halloweens past, and whatever else we had lying around.
My two year old decided he was having none of this being pushed around in a stroller business, norwould he walk, or let me carry him. His idea of the perfect evening would have been to walk naked in the street at his leisure. He could not understand at all, why I wouldn’t let him. I’m so mean, right?
Honestly, after only a block with our over-excited children, one of my neighbors declared (rightly) that we needed wine for this shit. So, she headed back to her house to grab some white zinfandel and a couple of water bottles. With straws. Because we’re classy.
A few houses after that, my two year old was finally just melting down, and I realized I had to take him home. But that left our other neighbor with a whole crapload of kids. 5 of mine, 1 of his, and our other neighbor’s 2. Note, he only has one child, and no experience with a small mob of candy fueled maniacs in costume.
What could go wrong?
I told my oldest two to help, and ran like a she-devil back home to drop the youngest with my husband and oldest son who was home handing out candy.
In a few minutes, I’d safely deposited my Liam with the family at home, and started sprinting back to rejoin the group. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed my 4 year old on a porch step with kids I didn’t recognize. I looked around for the rest of our group, but they weren’t there. Brennan had gotten separated, and had simply joined another group, and kept trick-or-treating.
My heart panicked. I ran over, grabbed him up and began cursing in Spanish. I do that because my children don’t speak Spanish, but my husband does, so it’s a great way to let out a little anger without really raising any tiny eyebrows.
But, since this is me, I suddenly realized (when one of the mothers gasped) that my sweet little boy had joined a group of Spanish speaking kids and adults, all of whom understood every single word out of my mouth.
I embraced my shame and took my unknowing child away from the house to look for his siblings. Luckily, it didn’t take long to find the rest of the group, all of whom were horrified that they’d lost their youngest member and not even realized it. And rightly so!
My other neighbor returned to the group at the same time. With wine. Blessed wonderful wine, which had never tasted better. Turns out the whole trick-or-treating gig is so much more fun with a little alcohol. In the end, we didn’t lose anyone else, candy was obtained, and everyone fell into a coma-like sleep at the end of the day. But it took me all evening to put my heart back in my chest over just the idea of losing my 4 year old.
This year I have decided that I have been taking on too much when I try to have our whole Samhain celebration on Halloween itself. I end up overwhelmed and we end up not doing things we’d planned. So, this year we’ll have our religious celebrations the next day, and American cultural holiday on Halloween itself. Why fight it? Besides, it’s supposed to be magical, and what it usually is, is overwhelming and exhausting.
I want the magic back in my holiday.
I am thinking though, maybe this year when we go trick-or-treating, I should take the wine, right from the start.
***Anne Basso is the Pagan mom in the PTO. A nurse turned stay-at-home-mom turned Peer Lactation Counselor, she’s mother to seven children, ranging in age from 17 to 3. She writes about her big family, Paganism, parenthood, and Special Needs, with a little humor and maybe a salty word or two, at MuseMama.blogspot.com and you can follow her on Facebook at Muse Mama or on Twitter @TheMuseMama