As soon as we walk in the door, Bug grabs the scissors and scrap paper and scoots a chair up to the kitchen table. He first draws a monster and then pushes that aside to create a row of pumpkins on orange paper. He asks me how to spell out a warning to the trick-or-treaters. I help him sound it out. He writes “Boo Boo Boo Boo” all on his own.
“What are you going to make, Mommy?”
Uh, dinner? And a bath? I force myself to leave the dishes for the moment. I pull up a chair and join Bug at the table. “Hmm. let me see. Something scary.” I draw a witch on a broomstick, snip her out, and paste her on a background of black construction paper. This satisfies my boy for now.
Dinner is ready. I heap the brown rice noodles and spaghetti sauce in bowls, hiding a few spoonfuls of cooked squash in the glop. Bug wolfs it down and even finishes his broccoli. I begin to peel an orange to add another serving of the good stuff to the meal.
“Wait!” He blocks me. “Don’t take the skin off! Can I have it?”
“Sure,” I laugh. I hand him the orange and take the second one from the bowl. “Can I peel this one?”
“Okay, yeah,” he says, but he is not paying attention to me. He has pushed his plate aside and taken up the marker. He draws on the orange and then cuts and colors a little strip of paper. He finds the tape under all this mess and sticks the little strip onto the top of the fruit.
“There!” He says, a big grin brightening his face. He turns the orange towards me. He has drawn on a triangle-eyed face and attached a makeshift stem. I laugh.
“That’s awesome, buddy! You made a jack-o-lantern!”
He goes back to eating his dinner. “Let’s make Halloween things all night,” he says.
“That’s a great idea,” I say.
After dinner and bath, we paste a few of our scary pictures on the front door. In bed, he takes up his clipboard while I read, drawing first a ghost, and then a vampire with red fangs, and then a leprechaun hiding a pot of gold behind a stone wall.
The papers flutter to the ground, one after the other, carpeting the bedroom floor.