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More Halloween

Sunday, lazy day, carving pumpkins day. We were too tired Friday, and away for too much of yesterday, so pumpkin carving fell to this morning. Goopy pumpkin guts, slippery seeds, serrated safety knives. Calvin and I stopped by a local farmer's this year and came home with no fewer than five pumpkins that we fell in love with, so there was plenty of carving to do.

This is the first year we've carved pumpkins early in the day, so it's the first time we've finished carving while it was still light out and had to wait until later to see them lit up. But we had plenty to do in the meanwhile because it was practically Halloween on campus today, with events at the Natural History Museum and the School of Music's annual Halloween Concert.

The Natural History Museum was all decked out. Spider webs and pumpkins were everywhere, and what I can only assume were overworked grad students were handing out candy and running craft tables where kids could make spiders, color masks, and do a myriad of other projects.

Calvin would stop by the tables and start coloring a picture and gaze hungrily at the museum exhibits nearby. So finally I suggested that he pick up the craft projects to do at home and spend his time looking at the fossils and murals. That hit the spot.

Until we found the live animal fun room. That was enticing enough all on its own. Ball pythons, a water monitor, skinks, and newts.

Then the cherry on top—the School of Music's annual Halloween Concert. A full orchestra in costume is fun by itself, but the music of course is the real draw—lots of great classical music with dissonant sounds and strong, eerie beats. This was Calvin's first symphony orchestra concert and we had a great time. He sat on my lap and counted the bananas in the cello section, the elves in the percussion section. At one time I heard him quietly keeping time under his breath—1-2-3, 1-2-3—and then he turned to me and whispered in my ear "This is a waltz. See, 1-2-3, 1-2-3." He kept time on my arm through the whole concert, and I loved watching him take the whole thing in. The concert is a local tradition, one that I'm pretty sure we'll make our own from now on.

And finally, after dinner and a History Channel special, The Haunted History of Halloween, we lit our pumpkins and enjoyed them, in the dark, before bed.

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