‘All in one night’
Appeal Staff Writer
Michael Fox waves an orange piece of paper in the air like it’s a live fish he’s caught with his bare hands.
“Semi-finalist!” he yells. “I was a semi-finalist!”
The 13-year-old dressed in a parrot costume almost fell as he scrambled from adult to adult at his parents’ Halloween party to show them the certificate he won in a school costume contest. His grandma, who cooked snacks for the families that met at the house, made the costume.
“I got so many looks and so many compliments in school from teachers and students alike who were running around complimenting me,” he said. “Students in other classes and my friends.”
His mother, Heather, helped him put on his socks and shoes in between dressing her other children and greeting the 20 other people who drank punch and ate bat-shaped tortilla chips in the living room of their one-story house.
Six-year-old Melia was dressed as a pink poodle and 3-year-old Macie had the zipper on her costume broken.
“This is asking for an accident,” Heather said, pinning the front of the outfit together.
Michael’s father, also named Michael, got home as the house started to fill up.
He put a radio outside, tucked the chord under the welcome mat, threw leaves on the porch and lit the pumpkins that the families had carved.
A battery went in his son’s pumpkin, though, so it would turn on the small bulbs the boy had had pounded in. The lights were the face of a cat, with whiskers drawn on either side with marker.
Wednesday was the one night the boy’s father had off this week.
“Daddy put on the spooky music,” Melia told her mother as the man worked outside. “That means it’s almost time to go.”
They had to wait a little longer, though, to make sure all the children had enough to eat, to see which children were going to follow which adult and to see where Michael’s friend, Dylan, both of whom are autistic, wanted to go to trick-or-treat.
Also, Heather had to remind her daughters why she couldn’t go with them.
“Mommy has to stay here,” she said, “because she can’t see anything out there.”
Michael trailed behind his sisters and father when they left and talked with two girls his age. He told them about his plan to get candy.
They would wait until his sisters were done at a house then they would run up to the door.
“Thank you!” he shouted at each person who gave them treats.
After three houses, he dug through the plastic cauldron he carried.
“Two Snickers,” he said, “a Tootsie roll and a Hershey bar.”
He smiled into the bucket.
“All in one night.”
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.