That Year My Parents Forgot About Halloween

I’m pretty sure it was fourth grade so that would mark it as 1979. My younger brother and I came home from school to a locked up house and no sign of our parents. That was not unusual. We didn’t have a key, so we used our array of tricks to gain access to the house – climbed through a window somewhere, probably the dining room.

We knew the drill. Eat some of the allowable snacks. Do homework. Watch TV. Wait for them to come home from whatever Quixotic quest they created that particular day. Our repertoire of dinner prep was limited at age eight (me) and six (my brother) to PBJ, cereal, and not much else. I don’t know if yet had a microwave, a tool that would revolutionize the semi-regular abandonment afterschool routine.

This time, it was different because it was Halloween. And while coping with the demons of neglect and disregard was a familiar ritual, gearing up to head out in costumes with bags and gear was a little beyond us. I was going dressed as a cowgirl. But finding flashlights, pillowcases, putting out the candy we were distributing,


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