Friday, October 31, 2008

Ghost Story

I am having one of those sad mom moments that veteran moms will tell you about but you really can't understand until you have your own.
Today Emma left for school at 8:00 am, carrying the Halloween costume she made with her friends and I have only seen once. I was quick to remind her to bring along a canned good so she would be able to wear her costume in school, she gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, "I hope you have a terrific Halloween!" I painted my smile on and told her I was sure I would and hoped she would too. I watched her amble down the street looking a little smaller than usual under the weight of her giant backpack.

You see, Emma is heading straight over to her friend's house after school, trick-or-treating in north Oak Park, going straight to a Halloween Party at another friend's house, and returning to the first friend's house to spend the night with a group of girls. This is the perfect Halloween for a sixth grade girl, but I am left feeling just a little hallow on this All Hallows Eve.

I am left with fleeting images of her first trick-or-treat dressed as a precious and politically incorrect hobo, the little Madeline who sorted her candies and a watched The Nightmare before Christmas for the first time, and the really scary Puritan girl who collected candies under the careful supervision of her dad. I know this independence is part of her growing up and these experiences are exactly what I want for her, but there is something eerie about living with a vanishing ghost of a little girl.

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