Last night we had pancakes for dinner. Only I didn’t make them, which meant no clean up, just a full belly and a happy face. As I watched my little one slowly cut her pancake into pieces excitedly proclaiming, “I did it! I did it,” I thought back to the days when we would break the rules of dinner and have breakfast. It was a simple joy and made the day feel quite special because really how often does one get to have pancakes for dinner? And it was always so fun to tell my friends the next day. I glanced back at my daughter so happy she was starting to wiggle. She started to dance. You know that little dance you do when something taste so good? I looked down at the partially eaten pancake smiling at me or maybe growling. I am not sure. It was supposed to be a scary pancake but to my daughter it was sweet and happy.
The three of us sat taking turns gazing at one another, and conversing while eating pancakes. My daughter who just hours before was reminding me that I forgot to give her whiskers (I hadn’t forgot. I knew that there was no way she would get through the day with whiskers and a nose drawn on her face) was doing a happy dance with each bite. She talked about her day, the parade and told me for the 2nd time that she only got a little bit of candy because she already got some from the harvest festival. But she also insisted that we have candy for desert because after having pancakes for dinner dessert is absolutely necessary. Occasionally her fingers would make their way up to her ears, her kitten ears, she would readjust them somehow then go back to enjoying her dinner taking breaks to lean her head on my shoulder or ask her daddy a question.
On our way home we drove past the trick or treaters walking. Red light–we sat and watched as they crossed the street holding their parent’s hands. I’m doing what I believe in my heart is best I tell myself. She’s ok. She’s not complaining. She’s always been ok. And not once did she ask to go trick or treating, not once. She already had her candy and she already marched in the school parade. Daddy even came to watch. She ate a cupcake and every last one of the black and yellow sprinkles that adorned it. She told me it was so good. And she brought us a spider and a ghost eraser. But not once did she ask to go trick or treating. Not even as she watched the princesses, skeletons and superhero make their way across the street. Green light–we’re almost home I listened as my husband counts the houses with their porch lights on. One, two, three, four, five, six and then he grows quiet. As our house comes into view it is not lit. I remember. Just like me as a child he did not go trick or treating. For different reasons than the ones my family had but just like me he vowed that he would one day go trick or treating with his own children. For his family it would be different. Our house is dark and for a few moments we sit in silence. Countless thoughts run through my head. I pull up to the garage and look back at my kitten sitting in the back seat. Her eyes are tightly shut and her lip curves to form half a smile. She’s pretending to sleep in hopes that her daddy will carry her but when she feels me staring she laughs. She’s fine I think to myself. She’s fine. She hops out of the car and closely follows her daddy inside. It is dark. I take in a few more minutes of silence; breath in and breath out then reach for my purse and make my way into the house. I reach for the bucket of candy sitting on the countertop. I open up a Twix mostly because dessert after pancakes is absolutely necessary. We debate bedtime before ultimately deciding to sit and do art. I do my project. She does hers and daddy sits working on the computer. Later she and her daddy sit and watch bloopers on TV. My heart is soothed by the sound of her laughter. I remind myself to trust myself. To trust that I am doing what I believe in my heart is best for her to trust that my husband will support me as he always does as he did when we made the decision to go against the vows he and I made as children many Halloweens ago. We didn’t go trick or treating last night but we did have pancakes for dinner.
I’m linking up with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary for Just Write.Tweet