This was the first Halloween that my daughter really got into the Halloween spirit. She just turned 6 in September. She dressed up in the past and certainly went trick or treating on Halloween, but it was different this year. She went and got the decorations out and she had very specific ideas where each decoration should go.
This got me to thinking about my childhood and Halloween. When I was growing up I had a cardboard skeleton that my mother would bring out and hang on the door every year. The joints were all movable and positionable. Thinking about the skeleton was a Proustian moment that brought back a lot of good memories of when I was growing up, school friends no longer seen, family members passed on (both Mom , 23 years now, and Dad, 2 years ago). It was a great trip down memory lane. Even now as I type this more memories come flooding back.
Anyway, I started looking around to see if I could find a cardboard skeleton to hang in our house. I thought that my daughter might like it as much as I liked mine. I could not find one anywhere. Everything was three dimensional plastic. So I decided to make one. That was the original idea. Just one. The one quickly grew to twelve (one for each of the front windows of the house). My daughter wanted to hang it in the window as a house decoration. I posted the skeleton as a project and I won’t go into it here. And then to one more for the little girl who lives next door.
I have now created a new memory for my daughter and myself and although in many ways it is a shared memory we each will have our own unique perspective of it. But hopefully it will not be only a single memory of designing the bones and picking the material and assembling the skeletons that will be remembered by her. I hope it is the memory of the fun we had in sharing this project together. (She even came in the shop a watched me cut some of the pieces! She normally stays out because she does’t like the loud noise nor ear plugs.)
So, the skeleton that I pulled from the closet of my mind has become a real present skeleton. And maybe with some luck, it will become, in the future, a skeleton in the closet of my daughter’s mind that will one day bring back wonderful memories of her childhood, and inspire her to do the same for her child.
One can only hope.
-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."