This week we pick up pretty much right where we left off last week. Echo was practicing for her bridging ceremony in Girl Scouts — going from being a Daisy to a Brownie. Here, you can see her lighting candles in the ceremony, with her leader nearby, and three older Girl Scouts in the foreground who came to help with the bridging rites.
Below, you can see Echo walking over the actual bridge to her fellow scout and the older girls waiting for her on the other side. The girls in blue on the bench will do this same ceremony when it’s their turn to bridge.
The leader congratulates Echo before pinning her new brown vest. They put the pin on up-side-down and after Echo has performed “three good turns” she is allowed to turn it over the right way. She’s done way more than that, already, I’m sure…
Echo also got to take part in a wilderness skills workshop through Girl Scouts this week. They learned about first aid, fire-starting, outdoor cooking, tracking, orienteering, and more. As anyone who knows her would guess, she was in heaven! The Fall Soccer Season came to a close, going on record as the mildest soccer season Missoula’s seen — well, ever, as far as I in my limited experience know. None of us had to freeze or stand in (much) rain. The coach got the kids trophies, although, I don’t think anyone really knows which teams ranked in what order. Echo made a card that listed things she enjoyed about soccer (friends, skully [the mascot], etc.) as well as thanks to the coach. Natalie and I shook our heads over pizza, and soda, and cupcakes, and analyzed the various bits of nostalgia-in-the-making in between tales of our own post-season banquets growing up. Speaking of nostalgia in the making…Natalie’s been in the Fairy Food shop. After weeks of new and in some cases “experimental” explorations, she’s now tooling away at some traditional favorites. It was also pumpkin-gutting time this week! And this year, Xi, as you can see, is wielding her own knife. In years past, she, like Echo (and Bella before them), has drawn faces on the surface of the pumpkin and then either watched as Natalie carved and/or held onto the adult carving hand as it sawed. Little bumps like this in the “rhythm of things” remind me of little knot or limb bumps in cross-section views of the growth-rings of very old trees. Suddenly they are just there and then things are that way for a long time maybe forever after.
Xi was Captain Jack Sparrow this year. As the only Designer we trust, Natalie did all the costumes, props, bobbles, details, and special effects. I did the pencil-work for Jack’s beard and eyes — what can I say, I’m an actor not a costume creator… I couldn’t even figure out what I was going to wear until the evening of Halloween! Echo, on the other hand, knew last year what she was going to be this year. This helped Natalie quite a bit, because when Echo was still sure about it, Natalie was able to start construction last month. She built the head and tail out of plastic, cardboard, paper mache, interior house and acrylic craft paint, glue-on eyelashes, egg cartons, hot glue, and an old bicycle helmet. Then she stitched the two yellow belly halves onto a purple fleece Echo already had, and Echo assembled the rest from her existing wardrobe. Natalie and Xi collected the parts and styled Captain Jack, together. We all contributed bits — from the boots her Mom sent along for her this week, and the scarf I loaned her, to the plastic jewelry she lifted from the dress-up bin, and the wig she borrowed from a left-over costume bit I bought but never used last year — but Xi and Natalie were the ones who put it all together and made it amazing.
Of course, Henry’s costume was amazing too this year. He got all dressed up as… Butter. Natalie and I got to be Darrell and Darrell, who were very excited! The purple dinosaur was partial to pumpkin. Captain Jack was in his Cannibal King attire. Darrell and Darrell — well, they scared nearly everybody they came across… But they were just friendly as all get-out. And polite too. But not too bright… The motley crew hit downtown before trick-or-treating, stopping through their favorite café and marauding a bit before moving on. We couldn’t show you the carnage of the tricking and the treating that ensued in the next couple hours. It was too dark, and the lions were too quick. But we could show you the spoils of the hunt, and one of the happy hunters. Just a lit-tle bit scary…As we strolled along behind them, and they ran along with their pack of neighborhood chums, and screams and shouts and laughter drifted on the moonlit air — I couldn’t help but count more tiny wisps and gleams and twirls of nostalgia trailing along between and behind us. I couldn’t tell exactly all whose memories we were making, but I could feel them collecting like the bright wrappers mounting in the kids’ pendulous candy bags. At the end of our spree, Natalie ran ahead so Darrell — no, not Darrell Jr., but his brother, Darrell Dwayne — could man the door at Gus (that’s our house…) for the kids’ final stop. I watched and sighed and smiled. It was like I was getting the pleasure of both the moment and the future moment when we’ll look back and remember how great this one is/was.
Talk about sweets! 😉
Be well all. And don’t actually eat all that candy…