This week was Halloween. A huge holiday for anyone with kids. The hustle and bustle of throwing on uncomfortable and imperfect costumes just in time for the school bell to ring. The devastation from accessories that never seem to work as promised. The tears when things don't turn out or look as real as expected. The buzz and excitement of trick or treating. The sugar rush of candy. The melt down from exhaustion. All against the dark nightly backdrop of flashing strobe lights, haunting music, loud recordings of voices screaming or diabolical laughter and creepy skeleton decorations.
All masked behind the "funnest" holiday EVER!
Ohhhh, the irony.
This Halloween was no different. Rushing to school in outfits that were awkward fitting and explaining how masks weren't allowed even though they had been wearing medical ones for the last two years, ruining their whole masterful plan of costume excellence. To coming home quickly after school to force feed or scarf down a snack and recloak my child in everything that had fallen off throughout the day, and redo the melt down of accessories now not working again, to rush and meet other friends for a long night of haunted houses and trick or treating until they collapse.
I found myself watching my son skip side by side with his friends when the frustration of getting dressed was replaced with the excitement of being together. I noticed how he was still young enough to stay relatively close near my side. Feeling and embracing the fleeting moments of him grabbing my hand when we passed a particular scary decorated home playing loud music or haunting witch giggles. Laughing and pointing out random costumes we witnessed throughout the night with the parents next to me.
I took a step back and looked around as the sun set, as the street lights came on, as my son walked arm in arm with his buddies. I noticed where and who I was with. I soaked in the moment.
Of my friends and their children who ran up and down pathways with such happiness and excitement. I saw the beauty of the moment along with the ghoulish nature of the holiday. The masks that hid faces along with giddy laughter that sang out behind them. The innocence along side the creepy vibes. The blood and guts along with the beauty of childhood memories.
Ohhh, the irony.
The moment caused for reflection with the families that walked by my side up and down the sidewalks. Soaking it in. Surrounded by love, by laughter, jokes and puns, by friends along with the haunting cackles. The true nature and character that seeped out even past the masks and costumes. The fleeting moment of tradition that I know will melt into a core memory for both my son and myself.
In the chaos, the noise, the sugar overwhelm, the fake blood make up and gore, I was filled with immense gratitude for the magic and those in my life who show it to me on a consistent, daily basis. Who walk beside me on this sidewalk, but also in life. Who experience this crazy, unpredictable, beautiful life with me. In the glitz and glamour of dress up and pretend, I saw the souls that are genuinely behind it all. Who hear me, carry me, support me. I see the care my son gets. The affection I wished for him.
I found myself overwhelmed and consumed with a love for everything just as it is.
No matter how scary or messy things might appear sometimes, I know under all the noise and hupla of the day to day, I have real, genuine people that I have been so blessed to have in my life. I find myself getting choked up with gratitude as I looked at them. Through a pandemic, health, loss, love, fear... we have made it out together. Bonded. First parents, then friends, now family.
In this time, as I get to know my birth family, who I only once imagined, I am also noticing the village I have. The village I used to hope for that now is finally surrounding me. My chosen family. My tribe.
Ohhhhh, the irony.
Thank you to all who have come on this journey with me. Who have read these posts and been on the ride, next to me, experiencing everything as I have.
I see you. I feel you. I'm grateful for you. I thank you. And I look forward to continuing this crazy ass journey with you. To the irony of life... and hoping things aren't always what they seem. To taking the time to see them as they really are. Underneath the masks, the chaos, the noise... at the bloody, pulsating, gory, tender, gentle, soulful heart that beats so vibrantly inside.
Until next week...