When I worked at IC, Halloween was a big deal in my building. We had a Halloween party and trick or treating from office to office for all the kids of the people in my building. The kids were adorable as they went door to door, while we were in the middle of checking email or updating a website, and a little Dorothy or an Elmo would peak from the other side of the desk. But this also coincided with the baby plan and each year, as I would say "next year" it became less and less fun. The "next year" mantra grew fainter in my mind until finally, I would just leave work before the party, leave early, and not be around the see everyone else's kids, to see something I couldn't have.
Fast forward to my new life in Doylestown. Halloween hasn't bothered me the last few years. My first year here was hurricane Sandy; two years ago, I was newly with EB and we had dinner at Panera. (As an aside, Halloween is thee best time to eat at Panera, or probably anywhere, if you don't want to deal with kids.) Last year, I sat outside with my neighbor's, around the fire pit, drinking and handing out candy.
But this year, what I didn't see coming, what I didn't realize would hit me so hard, was my part in the community's Halloween party. As a member of the social committee in my neighborhood, I helped plan the day's festivities. And even though I thought I hate Halloween, I wanted to take part, wanted to do my part.
After an hour of putting temporary tattoos on little costumed kids, I looked around at all the moms, chatting among themselves about their kids, about school, about homework or activities, about things that moms talk about, and I realized I couldn't be there anymore. Thankfully I had sunglasses on. Don't cry, just hold it together. do. not. cry.
I managed to not cry, I took deep breaths, wiped away the tears that had been welling in my eyes, and faked it for the next hour. More adorable children. I was numb to them. I looked past them, all the while doing the math in my head...the math that is always in my head. If I hadn't had a miscarriage, I would have a six year old; if Takesha hadn't changed her mind, I would have a 3 1/2 year old.
Would Harper have been in on the Frozen obsession? Would I have had an Elsa or an Anna? Anna...because she would have had red hair like her momma.
Would Cooper have been a minion or Captain America?
These were the torturous thoughts going through my head, probably bubbling just below the surface all week as I ate my weight in chocolate. Today wasn't much better. I had a pep talk with myself this morning, and still, and still...I ate a packet of peanut butter cups and m&m's I had in the freezer. I ate when I wasn't really hungry, but I ate anyway.
For now, I need to just move on. To have a good Monday.
Someday, I need to figure out earlier how to be aware of what is bothering me. But now, I just need a good day.