As All Hallow’s Eve draws nigh, it seems that ghouls, goblins, and grossy guts are everywhere. I get it. I get that we have this one day for us to gather in unity to celebrate and glamorize our fears and dark sides. But for the last few years, I think of Halloween much differently.
To start, I think of a young, gangly girl walking into my home for a midnight premier party I threw for The Hunger Games. I think of her skinny legs on the highest heels I’ve ever seen – and they were paired up with a mini-skirt and croppy toppy. Our eldest son had invited her as his date, so she was on the arm of someone I love very dearly, and it put me on the defense instantaneously. Now I’m a fairly reasonable woman, but when said defense kicks in, I tend to go all “Sheila From The Block” - and that can be quite scary to a youngster like the one I’m describing. It takes real guts to get through a night like that.
I think of a little sprite who came to a Thanksgiving evening without warning, and started asking for a “sliver” of this and a “sliver” of that, and licking her chops at all the food fare without care. She was a tiny little thing, and I couldn’t believe the amount of food she ingested. It reminded me a bit of Gollum referring to his “precious” when anyone came within the vicinity of her eating arena. It was alarming and charming all at the same time, as she filled her guts with the glorious food feast.
Thoughts take me back to a more mature young lady, filled with quiet countenance as my family embarked upon our Annual Family Festivus at Christmas. Family picture time came about, and she willingly became the photographer instead of assuming she was to be in the photo itself. She was content to have been asked to be part of Family Night at all, it seemed, and wrapped arms with me and slid her hand into mine as we crossed the street for dinner. She then quietly and authentically whispered, “Thank you for having me” in my ear. And my guts did a butterfly flip.
I think of a quirky young woman, daring enough to be different and wear knee-high socks with the character Jack Skellington from the movie ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ on them all year long (to go with her Jack Skellington earrings and hair bow, of course), no matter what holiday it is. Now that takes guts!
I think of someone with so much talent it baffles people. I see in my mind’s eye all the colorful and creative ways she paints, draws, and pieces things together to make the most incredible art. I think of the upright work ethic in her gift of artistry, and really anything she does for that matter, and I know how very rare a quality that is. I see her work her guts out.
I think of a strong female, coming into a family of strong females, somehow knowing just how to graciously fall right in line with them without having to gnarl her teeth in order to prove something. Gutsy move.
When I think of Halloween, I even think of a hot, breezy day in August near the beach. I know that one does not necessarily coincide with the other for most people, but for me the two are harmonious. That was the day a beautiful and blushing bride who looked like an angelic woodland fairy got married. To my son. And with all her guts pledged her undying and forever love to him.
Why do I think of Halloween when I think of all of these things? Because my whimsical and wonderful Daughts-In-Law, Kiren, was born on that day, and we celebrate the holiday much differently from most people. We don’t celebrate our fears or dark sides. But we do celebrate in unity. We celebrate how beautiful she is. We celebrate how unique and exceptional she is. We celebrate her ferocious-yet-gentle love for her husband. We celebrate her fierce loyalty to a family she fits so perfectly into. We celebrate her beautiful guts.