I have always loved Halloween. Back when I taught ESL at Penn and at Drexel, I used to buy a bunch of pumpkins every year and teach my students how to carve them. And I love to have trick-or-treaters come to my door so that I can give them candy. (OK, mostly, I love this. The ones who don't dress up but still expect candy in return for their surly, "Trick or treat" -- if they even open their mouths -- really bother me. I tell them, "No costume, no candy," so they better hurry up and think of something. After they get over their shock at being denied, the quick-witted ones say, "I'm a teenager." That gets them a candy bar in the pillowcase. The slow-witted ones walk off. And yes, this embarrasses my daughter.)
None of which is the point. This year, I just don't feel up to it. My husband is outside with the candy bucket. (Around here, most people sit in their driveways. I don't know why.) And my daughter is going around a friend's neighborhood with the friend's mom. Of course, my son is playing video games. He doesn't eat candy -- never has -- and trick-or-treating doesn't interest him -- and never has. (We used to make him go, but not anymore.) I just feel blah.
Now, part of this, I know, is because Matthew isn't here. I just keep thinking about how sad that is. (Sad isn't the right word, but I'm too blah to find a better one.) Part of it is because my friend is stressed to the max over her son's schooling situation. The conditions' having been lifted off their IEPs doesn't mean that all accommodations are yet in place, and until they are, homework is going to continue to be the nightmare that it's been for weeks. And part of it is because I'm afraid that when the Superintendent talked with the Executive Director of Special Education and Student Services -- as indicated in his follow-up (mostly) form letter -- everything we said was again spun to make it seem that we are unreasonable. Or lying. Or disingenuous. I'm not saying that this is what happened; I'm saying that it's happened in the past, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if it had happened again. And I find myself discouraged.
I've related this quote recently: "The devil once offered to sell at auction all his tools save one -- discouragement. 'For,' said he, 'if I have that, I can get along very well without the others.'" (Helen C. White) I also recently said: "After 10 years of my son's being in the school system, I can see why the devil would have said that." After the hope that I had felt a few weeks ago, this hits hard.
Maybe what I should have done was to buy Halloween outfits for Otis and Milo -- maybe devil horns and cape or angel halo and wings? That might have perked me up.