I Am Groot: The Best Halloween There Ever Was

I wrote this post four years ago, only a few weeks after my sister’s wedding. So this week we celebrate my sister’s four year anniversary and also remember the time Cassidy took the words “I Am Groot” way too seriously. And it was awesome.

This was to be the year I dropped the ball on Halloween.

Sometimes I have tunnel vision and it’s nothing to brag about. When there’s something big on the horizon, it’s hard to focus on smaller things before or after that big thing. Say for example, it’s senior prom. Say you have a major physics project due the Monday after prom weekend, but you can’t even think about it until after the prom is over and you’re back home and your sister’s boyfriend makes your project for you, and it doesn’t even work, but it’s so special and homemade that your teacher gives you an “A” on it and you don’t even have to take your physics final exam. You get to sit out in the hallway with a book and look in at all of the much smarter (at physics) kids and watch them take the final exam you’ll never take.

Somehow, somewhere, somewhat, sometimes, dropping the ball on something still looks like this:

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Cassidy may call it luck. I may call it that too, but also skill because I’m surrounded by wonderful and creative people and hey, I did take care of Des’ costume, and my own, and I did take a lot of photos and I did write this post, and I helped Cassidy in and out of that costume 17,000 times and I broke a few sweats too. I’m not calling myself completely useless at Halloween this year, but I was not the star to shine. And that was ok. My tunnel vision only allowed for my sister’s wedding, and a ton of photo shoots before and after that. Meanwhile while I was in my fog, Cassidy was dreaming and planning, only SIX DAYS BEFORE HALLOWEEN. And then dreaming and planning turned into working. And sharing that wisdom.

He wrote out a whole DIY of his costume with photos that you can see here.

My brain doesn’t work the way his does.

Heck, my brain can’t even wrap my head around how someone ELSE’S brain could work like this, much less.. work like this.

I Am Groot.

I am Groot

I am Groot

I am Groot

I am Groot

I am Groot

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Since I never met a Top Ten list I didn’t like, here’s my “Top Ten Things I Loved About Halloween 2014.” And quite like the wedding post, I started writing this on Halloween night. It actually wrote itself. So now I present it to you. There’s Halloween. There’s Halloween as a parent. And there’s Halloween as a parent in a really cool town. How about Halloween as a parent in a really cool town, with Groot, Rocket and Superman. You never know, do you? I didn’t drop the ball after all.

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The Top Ten Best Things about Halloween 2014:

1 – In the morning, Des and I went to Scarlet’s school to watch the kindergarten classes make a parade around the entire school in costume. We had some time to kill after the parade and before the half-day dismissal and I had a wonderful hang out and heart-to-heart on the playground with Scarlet’s friend’s mom. Bonus is that Des fell asleep in the swing!

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2 – Walking around all day with the best costume contest winner, which got him a prize ($$$). I was just darn proud. I’d tell anyone who listened to me, “That’s MY husband. He made that costume himself!”

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3 – Walking around town and seeing friends, and clients, and people who are both friends AND clients!

4 – Going to River Valley Market to get some late-night snacks. In costume, of course.

River Valley

5 – The car needed gas and it’s always fun to get gas on Halloween because you’re getting gas next to a clown, a witch, and oh yeah – the woman in front of you is the secretary at Scarlet’s school! You have to love our small city.

6 – Walking in the parade with Scarlet holding onto my stroller with one hand, and holding hands with two friends from preschool with the other hand. They were all telling each other Halloween riddles and cracking each other up.

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7 – Realizing Cassidy’s artistic potential as reflected back from the faces of hundreds of people. Heck, thousands.

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8 – We stopped by a friend’s party after trick-or-treating. There was a giant, amazing, handmade, remote (or radio?)-controlled Frankenstein on their lawn! It could move and talk and had a microphone where someone inside could look outside and talk to kids walking by. It was AMAZING. I was in a cloud of Groot pride and care, but this deserves its own post. I wish I had photos but I didn’t have my camera at that point, because.. Groot, Des, stroller, freezing, candy bags, etc. My friend’s dad made it when he was only 13 and it was passed down to my friend’s family. Seriously, amazing.

9 – Scarlet told me I was the prettiest Snow White she had ever seen! The fairest of them all?

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10 – I stole a piece of candy from Des’ bucket at 1:00am. It was a Milky Way. I hadn’t had one in years!

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*Bonus that he really only said “I am Groot” when people tried to talk to him!

I’m sure I have an honorable mention for every single person I saw out there that night. I know I spout a lot about the online blogging love (which is real and fierce!), but my in-person people are pretty spectacular too.

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Everywhere I walked that night, in a city of thousands, I saw a familiar and beautiful face.

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And like with my sister’s wedding, I’m a bit sad that it’s all over.

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However. Halloween comes every year. (unless it’s Snowtober, in which case it gets skipped, sorta.)

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What on earth will we do next year?

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So, what was the best Halloween of your life?

Your Lips Move But I Can’t Hear What You’re Saying.

The original title for this post was “I Just Can’t.” Except, it’s about photography instead. Sort of.

Then I drove from home to the mall for a Hallmark post, to the camera store to rent a lens for today’s music studio shoot, then to daycare to get Des, and then tried to figure out what to do with him until our friend was coming over for dinner, and Cassidy and Scarlet were to come home from the dentist. I drove on mountain roads, the radio coming in and out, and “Comfortably Numb” came on. I guess it’s obvious I like using song lyrics or songs as blog post titles as often as I can.

And it wasn’t even the song most on my mind. That was this. Just listen.

Maybe by now you’ve seen that meme of the four-year-old Syrian girl facing the photojournalist with her arms in surrender, because she thought the camera was a gun. I didn’t share the photo and I didn’t fact-check it, but I knew it was too real.

I see Scarlet faced with a camera almost daily. I see Scarlet facing the world with a camera too.

photography(She took this)

My older sister and I always say we have the same heart. We are over feelings and squishy feelings and sensitive feelings. We are love feelings and overwhelming feelings and feelings so big, you just know you can either change the trajectory of the world, or be crushed by it all. We’re different too. Through years of learning, she has unblocked herself. She can channel her feelings into pretty serious physical awesomeness. And other things. I can unblock myself, sometimes by choice, and many times by force. It just happens. It’s the force of the world and the bravery it takes to walk in it. Sometimes I’m still so blocked, because I just can’t. Sometimes I’m so unblocked, because I just can’t not. And I wouldn’t want to, anyway.

photography

There is nothing glamorous, sexy or super-heroic about withholding your feelings. There’s nothing sexy, glamorous, or super-heroic about blocking love. It’s not that I don’t or I won’t, but sometimes I can’t. It’s too much. I’m afraid if I start, I won’t be able to stop. Falling. Crying. Loving. Breathing. I don’t even know. I’m so moved, though, by nearly everything. And I sometimes have to sit in paralyzed silence. And when the world feels like it’s falling apart, I have to remind myself that it’s not. And when I feel like I’m falling apart, I have to remind myself that I’m not. This could be about the Syrian girl. Or Paris. Or Russian jets and school shootings. And love and messy stuff. Parenting and photography and dreams and sadness and laughter. It’s about everything, but mostly about squishy hearts and squishy feelings and squishy love. The squishiest.

photography

Anytime I’m silent, it’s only because I have too much to say. Anytime I’m afraid to love you, I’m more afraid not to.

Then I think of little Scarlet, who is far braver than I am, and so much more whole. And the way she learns one of the few things I can do freely – photography. She doesn’t block or withhold. She can do things, and she can’t not do them. It’s so fascinating to see what comes out of her camera, and to imagine what will be there for years to come. She told me I could share these with you – all taken by her. She also wants me to print out all 504 photos she took and she wants to bring them to first grade for “Sharing Day.” I told her that might take two full days of school. She said, “That’s cool.” And it is.

All photos are her vision. I set her on “P” mode. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with “M” mode quite yet. In due time.

Scarlet Photography

Scarlet Photography

Scarlet Photography

Scarlet Photography

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Scarlet photography

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Scarlet Photography

Scarlet Photography

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