Day 26: Cider, Santa and Squalor

For Day 26 we delivered cider to some neighbors. This doesn't sound like that big of a deal, because it isn't, but we did make the cider ourselves which I think earns a few extra effort points.

Our friend, Dave, came for dinner and brought over a medieval torture device, that doubles as a vintage cider press. The kids absolutely loved it, and my blood pressure  was  wasn't at all through the roof as the children's precious fingers continually came too close to the finger-remover  spinning gears.

The kids got to make their own cider with this contraption, and it was some seriously good cider too. So, we jarred some up and delivered it to people down the street. I had a nice conversation with the girl, who remembered that I brought her husband some curry last year because all he had eaten that night was potatoes. #worstdinnerinhistory

Every year, I also give myself kindness credit for the amount of time I spend making Halloween costumes.  I spent a lot of years not participating in Halloween. It wasn't because I thought it was dark or evil, or anything like that. Sure, some people take it too far and make it dark and sinister, but to be honest, we grew up making silly costumes and carving pumpkins and hoarding candy under our bed, ya know, like Americans. So, for us, it was never about anything scandalous. We didn't use it as an excuse to dress like prostitutes, or sacrifice animals in satanic rituals. (That's what Thanksgiving was for in the Provencal family.)

Still, as harmless as I found Halloween to be growing up, I felt some loyalty to my brother to sit on the sidelines each year. On the night that Adam was killed, I was dressed as him for Halloween.  I wore his wrestling singlet and warm-ups and had his head gear dangling on my hip, just like he did between matches.  I braided my hair into pigtails, because, obviously, that made me look more like a teenage boy, and I was him. When everyone else dressed up like their favorite super heroes, I dressed like mine. It just so happened that my hero was a 17 year old kid. And truth be told, Adam loved Halloween. He loved to be silly, he loved to laugh and play, and he inexplicably loved hammer pants.

So, right around the time I had kids, I decided that I would let them experience all the fun and shenanigans my sisters and I experienced with my brother when we were kids. Nothing dark or scary, just haphazard and offensive hobo costumes, harmless gender swapping, and juvenile diabetes.

But despite my decision to embrace the fun of Halloween, rather than the sad reminders... I still struggled so much when the holiday actually came around. I just dreaded all the leading up to it. Then I discovered that I could throw myself into making the kids's costumes, and it would help me look forward to the fun, and distract me a little from the grief triggers. It doesn't always work, but hey! we have some pretty fun costumes out of it.  So, here is a little smorgasbord of costumes from Halloweens past.

 Annalee's first Halloween... speaking of gender swapping, we went as boys. Okay, she went as a boy, and apparently I went as a pedophile. (I worked at a preschool at the time and, I kid you not, they would not let me into the building. True story.)

Baby's first sideburns.

Marlie as Jessie from Toy Story 2

Danielson and, if memory serves me correctly, I believe I called myself Captain Awesomehook 

The year of all the Santas

Accompanied by Mrs.Clause and an elf.

I feel very strongly about drawing facial hair onto young children whenever possible.

Chick hatching out of an egg was pretty epic. London was afraid of Lebron James apparently.

Two cupcakes and a candle

As much as I preach kindness this month, none of my #AdamsActs would make my brother more proud than the fact that I have become so much like my mother in all her costume-making glory, that I (spoiler alert) sewed a bean bag to a bicycle helmet today for one of our costumes. Absurd and wonderful and truly something that Adam would have appreciated.

Tom's act of kindness, besides continuing to help with all the kids while I continued to recover today from the pink eye of the throat... was dealing with the mess of homemaking Halloween costumes. He secretly loves living  in squalor  with such a fun, creative woman.