Dear Trick-or-Treat Candy Bucket Thief-Tradition Taker,
This letter is for you. So that one day, if you ever come across this on the internet and happen to find this post, you will never forget that you stole something from me, a**hole.
You stole our bucket.
AND IT WASN’T JUST THE BUCKET YOU STOLE.
It was more than a bucket. I am an American living in the Dominican Republic. I tell you this so that you may understand the impact of your supreme lapse of judgement, the degree of your dishonor. So that you may understand what I am about to tell you.
When we moved to the Dominican Republic, I knew I would be giving up some very important things: being near our families, a real home, a childhood for our kids like the one we grew up with. We weighed the positives with the negatives. I knew our kids would have a totally different childhood experience than the one both Husband and I had, but some things would be the same. They’d have to be. I’d see to it.
SOME TRADITIONS WOULD REMAIN.
And other traditions would be created. Traditions that Husband and I would start that would continue throughtout the years no matter where in the world we lived. Traditions that are just ours. Traditions that our children would assume are what every family does because that’s all they know. Because that’s all they’ve ever done.
THOSE TRADITIONS ARE SACRED.
…So here we are in a different country, accepting the loss of our own childhood traditions and trying to create new ones out of necessity. Do you know how hard that is? Do you know how hard it was to even find a pumpkin to carve before this year?
Yet here we were, a new family; parents trying to raise two kids abroad in an ever-changing life, with family traditions that haven’t been created yet….but we had one. The bucket.
Rafaella was born on October 7, 2011. She wasn’t even a month old when we took her picture in the bucket. She definitely couldn’t trick-or-treat… but we bought that bucket anyway. That first year we had to cushion the bottom of it because she was so small that she didn’t even fill it to the brim. And it was our first Halloween, our first holiday, as parents. It was her very first holiday of ever. It was a tradition being created and we didn’t even know it yet. The best kind of tradition. The one you don’t see coming until it just is.
The following year, we thought, Wouldn’t it be funny to put Rafa in the bucket again and see how big she’s gotten. It was funny. But it was also magical to see how much our little girl had grown. That same bucket that only a year before was too big for her to sit up in, this year was to small for her to fit in. And to add to an already magical moment, the day we stood her in that bucket for her 2nd Halloween picture was the same day we found out that our second baby would be a boy. We’d have another child to stuff in the bucket.
This year, as we were leaving for the Halloween Frolic, we made it down a flight of stairs with two babies, mouse ears, and a heavy double stroller before I remembered that bucket. Husband dropped the stroller and ran back up to retrieve it because not only would we need another picture of Rafa standing in the bucket, not only would we be continuing this tradition with Santiago too, but it would also be the first Halloween that Rafa would be trick-or-treating and using the bucket. And if you knew our daughter, you’d know that was big… HUGE… MOMENTOUS.
At least we got our pictures.
But instead of Rafaella walking around with her bucket that we had bought her before she could even understand what the hell that damn bucket was for… you swiped it, Swipey. So instead she trick-or-treated with a plastic bag from La Cadena.
Let’s me be very clear. You will probably never read this. But I know who you are and so do you. I asked you if you found that bucket as you tapped out the french fried crumbs that my 2 year old daughter had just finished eating – the bucket that her toddler hands set down and that her toddler body walked away from because that’s what toddlers do – and you, a grown man, lied. And I know you lied. You lied straight to my tradition-heart-broken-face when I asked you. And then you took the bucket and washed it out. Liar.
So when you read this one day, and I hope you do, know that though you have probably forgotten about that bucket, I haven’t. I never will. That bucket that to you was just a plastic handle with pumpkins painted on tin was our first family tradition. So that’s what you stole. Because you thought it was cute. Because you thought it was free. But it came in the cost of a very broken hearted mother. Happy Halloween, asshole. I hope you choke on it.
Me. The Mouse.
P.S. Don’t let the smile fool you. I’m mean.