Friday, November 8, 2013

When I Was 'Cool'

This Halloween was a momentous event for me. One of my kids thought I was ‘cool.’


If only for a day.

Halloween has always been a big thing for us – two kids in the house has always made it fun. Decorations are put up and costumes are carefully planned and thought-out. When they were younger, I sometimes dressed up for work, and usually in something tame and generic. I was eager to foster the Halloween ‘spirit’ for my kids, but as my own age increased, dressing up for work faded away.

But with my kids getting older and trick-or-treating slowly becoming a thing of the past, I am anxious to hold on to the fun of it all – for my sake and for theirs. Who says you still can’t have fun, no matter how old you get?

So a few years ago I started dressing up, but only for giving out treats at the door. Sure it was just a silly mask and hood, but when it’s dark, everything is that much scarier. I do a whole ‘hunched-over-scary-monster’ act, complete with grunts and growls. The ‘macho’ kids are determined not show their fears, especially in front of their friends. But when a scary face peaks through the crack of the door, only to have the door flung open at the last moment highlighted with a roar, those tough ones crumble.

But after the last trick-or-treater leaves, the silly mask is put away for another year only to be pulled out when the next years’ first trick-or-treater rings the doorbell.

My kids have been impartial to it all. They think my antics are ‘neat,’ but mostly roll their eyes at me. I have been doing this for a few years, even when they were still doing their own trick-or-treating with their friends. For the most part they had been unfazed by my high jinks. I suspect they were slightly embarrassed (but that never stopped me).

But this year where I usually have restricted my costume-wearing in the evening, I decided to go all out. The ‘circle of life’ and all that has had me assessing and contemplating a great many things this past year, and I am determined to have fun; not only for myself but for my family. My kids are getting older and I am desperately trying to hold on to....everything.

In the early morning of Halloween while everyone was still asleep, I got ‘ready’ for work. I wore one of the kids’ past ‘zombie’ outfits, out came the ghoulish face paint, and with a bit of hairspray and back-combing of my hair, I was transformed. I ‘zombied’ my way to the bus stop, and ignored the stares and curious glances from other bus riders. Feigning obliviousness to my appearance was the most fun I ever had on the bus.

Throughout the day many didn’t know it was me. I had great fun seeing folks’ reactions, and was told I was recognizable only by my voice and smile.

I have to work on that for next year.

But I was more anxious to for my family’s reaction later that evening. Would they roll their eyes at me? Would they be embarrassed (like they usually are)? Would they care? With a house of teenagers, you never know.

So when I arrived home that night, my zombie make-up and huge hair still intact, all of them were....shocked. And impressed. And surprised. And in awe. And couldn’t stop staring at me.

But my day’s fun was nothing compared to the compliment the 17-year-old gave me. As I recanted stories of folks’ reactions, my son stared at me in awe and with a smirk said,

‘That is heat!’

My heart filled. I had no idea what it meant but I knew, just KNEW, that whatever it meant was a compliment. I would later find out that it means the same as what we used to say in the ‘olden days:’ ‘rad’ or ‘awesome.’ I wasn’t IN heat; I was JUST ‘heat.’

Underneath my zombie make-up I was glowing.

I was cool. I was ‘heat.’ And I was the happiest mommy-zombie ever.

Thanks for reading! Lisa


  1. Heat? That is so funny. I have never heard that before. Way to go. Bring on the heat. I think I just wrecked it. Great story!

    1. Hi Janelle - ya, this whole 'heat' thing is new 'slang' - something I guess I am not 'up' on, but trying to be. The fact that you visited and commented, that is 'heat'....thanks for stopping by. Take care, Lisa