“I wanna to be a witch,” my four-year-old daughter said.
“Are you sure? You don’t like scary things.”
“Yes,” she said with a firm drop of her chin.
“You know witches usually have big noses, warts, and straggly hair. They wear raggedy black dresses and pointed hats. That’s what makes them witchy looking. And we could find a lot of costumes like that.”
Finger in mouth, head to one side, she paused to contemplate. “I wanna be a pretty witch.”
“Not a scary one?” I asked.
When my son was in first grade, he was the smallest kid in the class. So when a bigger boy invited him to go trick or treating chaperoned by parents, I said yes, glad Steve was making friends at school.
Steve wanted to be a pirate. I can’t sew a stitch, but I rustled up a white shirt, a red bolero, stuffed his jeans into his rain boats and penciled a curly charcoal mustache under his snub nose. My piece de resistance was the pirate hat created from stiff, black cardboard, cut into the right shape, stapled together, and sporting a fancy skull and crossbones decal. When his friend arrived on our doorstep, Steve grabbed a paper bag with handles, dashed into his room, then came back and went off with them. I took his younger sister, dressed as a fairy, around the block.
Therefore, I was gone when the first calls came in from the friend’s family. “Is Steve back yet?” they said,“We can’t find him.” Continue reading