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?

Pocketful of Kryptonite.

So often, writing is used as a problem solver.

Do you ever feel that? It introduces questions and answers them. Writing soothes and heals, and stirs you up, and eases you down. It lifts you up, and lets you down. Sometimes it makes problems even bigger, if you’re interrupted. It would be like going to therapy and boiling up all your problems – heated and forefront in your heart, head and hands – and then not working out those problems. Leaving the door open. Setting the cooking oil on high and walking away, before getting burned by the splatters. It gets hotter and higher and hotter and higher and those splatters start reaching out of the pot and into the room.

All of this is just a dramatic and rambling way to say that writing can mess with your mind. So often, I don’t know how I feel about something until I write about it. I guess it takes clearing out the mental cache and reaching into the darkest recesses. How do I feel about it? Well, I think I know, but I won’t really know until I sit home and let the words and tears pour out. I’ll probably feel sick afterwards, but it’s ok. It will either get further repressed or further worked out. Maybe both. Neither?

I know I’m in a funny mood, but I also know that I come here for the knowledge, if nothing else.

My kryptonite is.. the unknown. A sick feeling. A trigger of PTSD. The wrong tone of voice. What does it MEAN? And why?

Thing is, I don’t know. And that might be the worst part of it.

Sometimes I know, but then I don’t know how to deal with it “properly” or whatever that means. I can get stuck in my head and in my stomach. It hurts. A throbbing ache of something bothering me, but what? I don’t even know. Anymore or Anything.

My kryptonite is.. being stuck. In thoughts and feelings, love and life, desire and longing, inactivity and paralysis, under here and outside over there, unable to do anything. Frozen in headlights and accusations. Overwhelmed under. Frozen over.

My kryptonite is..an endless string of smooth days and healthy nights, and then one anxious disastrous one. It doesn’t matter that it happens rarely and that I fight it often. I dwell just on the fact that it happened. That it can happen. That it will.

Thing is, I don’t know. And that might be the worst part of it.

There’s something fearful and eternal and deeper than you might know – when we chat on the street about cardigans and bagels – that sometimes I’m thinking about Jabberwocky nightmares, and those taken from us, or given to us. Too soon.

My kryptonite is.. the doctor’s office, because even after perfect dental visits and giving birth twice, and surviving muscle aches and kid illnesses, and change, and more change, and travel and planes, and building a better life. Even though it hurts. I walk into that office and I can’t look at him because he knows. He knows that I can’t help but think I’m dying too, of heart attacks and diabetes and high blood pressure. Despite every piece of evidence to every contrary thought, it doesn’t matter. I’m marked, by early trauma. And he knows and I know. No matter how brave I can be, I can still cower and shake and cry.

My kryptonite is.. not feeling my feelings when and where I’m supposed to feel them, but instead they are felt prematurely or delayed, and in all the wrong body parts. What are the right ones, I wonder? From your eyes in tears?

From your mouth in words? From your ears in listening?

But hey, you didn’t ask me for my super hero powers; just my kryptonite. So next time, you’ll ask me about my super hero powers, and I can talk about family and love and opening hearts, and dressing up and going out and reaching out and and..

That would be an even longer post, wouldn’t it?

And now I think I get it. Not exactly what my kryptonite is, and what to do about it. Nor to accept that we all have our kryptonite(s) and that’s ok. It’s all ok. What I know not is all the answers, but what I know is some of the questions and problems. What I know is solutions that have halfway worked, or worked half of the time. What I know is seeking and further reaching. What I know now is how to write a little post about kryptonite – and find more than I was looking for anyway.

Isn’t that what it’s about? Getting closer. Getting a closer. This is my closer, today.

It may not be what you think it will be. It may change, and change again. That’s ok. This week’s particularly cool Finish the Sentence Friday topic is “My Kryptonite Is…” and there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.

My kryptonite is.. outtakes. So many outtakes..

..and in accepting that outtakes are a healthy part of the journey.