ow much do I love Halloween?

It is the day itself and you’ve got candy to buy and school parades to watch, I’m sure, so I’ll just give you the short answer: a lot.

When I was little, there was just enough spooky for me in this holiday to feel like something unexpected might happen. Not untoward, you understand, and definitely not terrifying, but something distinctly other. Just being out at night, plastic pumpkin in hand, was an adventure.

The holiday is different now and the energy devoted to making myself into someone else for a night is now divvied up three ways, supporting the modest aspirations my Three have to be feathery, or dramatic or ghoulish. I work backstage on our Halloweens now, suggesting costume ideas, delegating the necessary work to make those costumes (truth: Scott made that peacock tail; I had nothing to do with it) and dressing children in them when the day finally arrives.

I still love it, though. There is magic in transformation, even if the changes made are brief and discarded at the end of a few hours. Halloween succeeds in reminding us of the possibility of surprises, sour and sweet, with just some free candy and fake blood.

I’ll miss it when it’s over.