My husband is an attorney. And surprising to many, that statement is not mutually exclusive of the fact that he is the funniest, silliest person I know, and the most likely to dress up in witch-drag as “Elphaba” for Halloween! (This photo of the Rogers family is from Halloween 2010.)
He relives his high school thespian days on any given evening by transforming his face and arching his shoulders into a hunchback and pretends to attack our children. He teaches the kids Weird Al songs and can be heard singing “Dead Puppies” at the top of his lungs.
One of our favorite family traditions isn’t really a family thing at all. Every Sunday night he makes his special chocolate chip pan cookies with the kids. (My only job in this affair is to make sure there are plenty of chocolate chips in the house at all times!)
Our family has been known to dress in a theme for Halloween. We spend months planning what we’ll wear, who will be what, and then dad scours second hand stores to find exactly the perfect vest or wig to fit his vision.
I’m sharing all this to make it clear we simply cannot function on many levels without him. And I haven’t even mentioned that while I work a little from home, by far, he is the breadwinner in the family. I am the consumer.
Fast forward to the end of October: What are the Rogers’ planning?
What is our crazy dad going to be for Halloween?
... HE ISN’T.
The horror! (Insert Macaulay Culkin face slapping.) Why? Because he’ll traveling for work over the week of Halloween.
We try to adjust to his travel schedule throughout the year. Mornings are painful. Getting the kids up and ready and off to their various schools and bus stops, on my own, makes everyone grumpy. Afternoons are less stressful, since that’s my normal realm.
But the evenings simply kill me. Adult conversation, and someone to watch the latest Netflix movie with and share a few laughs during the Colbert report are evening pastimes that are simply wrong when alone. Plus, I stay up too late and my feet are cold without my husband/foot-warmer next to me when I crawl into bed.
But missing Halloween? It’s like collectively punching us all in the gut. The joy in dressing up is lost. I’ve contracted Costume-Refusal Syndrome. (Seriously, it’s real; Google it.)
I keep thinking about all the single parents in the world: The mom who folds laundry alone or the dad who watches “Modern Family” alone. They help their kids with homework after school and in the evening, then get up, feed them healthy breakfasts, and scoot them off to school — all without any help. The short-lived single-momness I experience cannot compare to their world. They do Halloween alone every year.
I salute single parents everywhere.
The thing is there’s always another year for us. (Who knows, maybe we’re secretly planning to dress the whole family head to toe in blue Smurfalicious outfits next year? Shhhh don’t tell.)