Trick or treating last night with Ivy and Fish was as lovely and fun as it is every year, but came with a tiny flavor of bittersweet.
South Pasadena – the only place we celebrate Halloween night – once again outdid itself, decking out historic-zoned Craftsman homes and tree-lined streets with lights and music and fog and Hollywood-grade horror props. Front doors were open, porches filled with smiling faces handing out candy and coffee, and the sidewalks were crowded with people who – like us – spend each October 31st in the most beautiful small town in the Los Angeles metroplex. No one does Halloween like South Pasadena does Halloween. Hell, the police cruisers were even broadcasting Carpenter’s theme to Halloween through their speakers. It’s just that sort of town, and was that sort of night. Wonderful from start to finish.
But it was also tinged with a bit of uncertainty, as Fish is now 12, and therefore in that odd middleground where one doesn’t know how long she’ll hold on to those childhood beliefs and activities that have marked her entire life so far. She says she’ll never stop trick or treating, and is already planning her costume for next year, but I know that’s probably as much idealism speaking as it is promise. She’s a nostalgic girl, and a bit old timey, just like her parents. She’s also going to be a teenager in eight months.
Either way, and if this was the last, we’ll always have memories of wonder and magic seen through a child’s eyes, and a little bit of Americana saved up and stored in that part of the cabinet that needs those sorts of things. And I’ll always have this photo, and each one taken in the same way in the same spot the past six years, marking the passage of time on a night that is timeless. May it always remain so.