Halloween off the record

Halloween is a reminder of the futility of capturing precious moments. The best of them come in the chaos, and it’s difficult to hold onto a camera and chaos at the same time.

What I recorded:

Our festivities began at Big Brother’s school parade. Hundreds of other parents, just like me, sat with their cameras ready to get those great shots of their kids passing by. I think we all got the same blur as the kids raced toward their classroom parties with little regard for posterity. I tried to get photos of some friends’ children, and never have I collected so many pictures of the backs of heads.

I think I did better than most, since my wife had no qualms about stepping into the parade route to make a human speed bump as Big Brother approached.

Next it was on to Buster’s preschool, for the recital portion of his Halloween party. It turns out, Buster is not an enthusiastic public singer or dancer. This, despite how readily he will do both at home, right in front of the TV, on fourth and goal.

I recorded several minutes of video in which Buster half-heartedly dances, and more in which his lips are sealed as his classmates sing. His little classmates were a joy to watch. Maybe that’s what he was busy doing instead of singing. I’ve got lots of video of him watching his classmates sing.

What I missed recording:

We began our Trick or Treating with a group of a dozen kids, also known as the kind of chaos where I lose track of my camera. That’s when I have to start relying purely on memory, which is a shame because I feel like my storage is reaching its limit.

Our group of children and assorted parents kept together pretty well right up to the first house. After that, the group quickly pulled away from Buster, Big Man, and me. We continued on our own, free of the stress of keeping up with the big kids.

One quick shot before the chaos.

One quick shot before the chaos.

Together, we three shared Halloween moments I wish I could have recorded:

  • My two-year-old Ninja Turtle fully immersed in the spirit of the night, running from house to house.
  • My four-year-old Spider Man, once again marching to his own drummer, making his little brother wait as he walked backward or hopped to avoid cracks in the sidewalk.
  • Big Man pointing to a darkened house and asking, “That guy heeping [sleeping]?” then pointing to the festive house next door and declaring, “That guy not heeping!”
  • Two little superheroes forgetting about candy for five whole minutes to examine all the cool lawn decorations at one house.
  • Buster offering an unsolicited explanation of our night to the owner of the last house: “This took a long time, but we’re going home now.”

I’m happy I got what pictures and video I did. It’s all entertaining stuff. But those little moments that will stick with me I can’t replay for anyone else. All I can do is put them into words, and that doesn’t seem quite the same.