The ghost of Halloweens past

Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, I realize I don’t have a single picture of my sons in costume this year. At 13, 12 and 9, they still dressed up and went trick-or-treating, but not with me. They scattered with friends and didn’t need (I won’t even consider the possibility of want) me with them.

I sat on my couch waiting for trick-or-treaters to ring my bell at felt the gut-punch that my years of walking door to door reminding my sons to be polite and say thank you were over. I saw the weary look of moms and dads braced against the wind and snow, holding toddlers hands on the stairs, and wanted to tell them to treasure every second of it.

I’m not sure where I read “the trouble with last times is that you hardly every realize they’re the last times,” but I’m sinking with that realization. I wasn’t done marking the moment before it slipped from my grasp.

I bought their costumes. I packed their bags. I sent them off.

I hope they said “thank you.”

I blinked

I once had three baby boys.    I blinked.


For years, 7:30 p.m. meant bedtime.    I blinked.

My son gently wakes me at the end of SNL. “It’s time to go to bed mom.”

My sons each played with a Fisher Price phone, animatedly chatting with Elmo and Cookie Monster.    I blinked.

They now show me shortcuts in the iPhone, out-texting me easily.

I brought juice boxes & animal crackers to share at play dates with other preschoolers.    I blinked.

I just sent my oldest for twelve hours at Great America with his friends.

In the early days I carried one boy on each hip.    I blinked.

Now I look up to one and wonder how soon the other two will tower over me.

I pushed a double stroller everywhere.    I blinked.

I have to call out for them not to get too far ahead on our bike rides.

I read Margaret Wise Brown & David Shannon aloud every single day.    I blinked.

Now I’m discussing “Fast Food Nation” with my sixth grader.

I rolled a ball back and forth across the living room floor.    I blinked.

I have to check the tournament team schedule before making weekend plans.

I controlled their schedules, their meals, their clothing, their friends.    I blinked.

I’ve lost control.

Summer 2013

Summer 2013


I had three baby boys.    I blinked.

I don’t have babies anymore.