so i finally persuaded the dog to go out into the dark, sodden morning to walk around the block, but when we were halfway around, the rain picked up and we began to be pelted with leaves and cold water, and he balked. i knew what he meant and that there was no use trying to persuade him so we turned around to walk back.
that's when i spotted him. sitting propped against a garbage can on the side of the road, in a puddle, looking for all the world like a homeless person was a snoopy stuffed animal.
i felt like i had no choice. i picked him up, heavy, so heavy with water, and carried him dripping home. for now, he sits propped against a pumpkin on our front porch. once he dries out a bit, i'm planning to put him in the dryer and then to give him to the dog.
because i have no toddler, no small child.
next week is halloween and for the first time i can remember my needs to parent are clashing with my kids' needs to grow up. two of mine are still going trick-or-treating, but both are going out with friends. neither wants nor needs me to go with them. i can see why people dress their dogs up -- how far is the difference between giving the dog a stuffed animal and treating the dog like a baby? i'm not sure i want to know.
i am not done trick or treating. i have a costume in mind for myself, as i always do. but this year my role is to drive and to give out candy, to put makeup on the kids, take their pictures, and send them out into the world.
sometimes my grandma says, well, you wouldn't actually want them to stay babies, and that's true. i wouldn't wish that on them for a moment and i adore them as big kids. it's only me i feel a bit sad for -- and certainly not all the time. there are so many things i can do now, my own things and their things, that i could not with babes in arms, kids in hand. but there are things i can't do and halloween is apparently one of them.
the other day we drained the pool, added chemicals, and put the heavy black tarp on for the winter. the next week, we -- and i do mean dave -- surrounded the pool with snow fencing to keep the dog from a polar bear swim through the winter. i carried heavy muskoka chairs out of the backyard. we unscrewed hoses. there is a finality to the closing up of fall that feels a lot like a soggy snoopy sitting against a garbage can. some chores -- like raking -- have to be done over and over again, but others -- cutting back the hostas -- are done and that's it. i know spring will come again. i love the beauty of fall and even late fall, but oh there is a melancholy to it too.