(Performed at Serving the Sentence on March 9, 2014)
I knew exactly what I needed to do: eat chocolate.
“How much longer until trick-or-treating?” I whine, tugging at the bottom of my cheerleading costume. I hate wearing skirts. And dresses. And tights. They’re stupid. Why did I want to dress up like a cheerleader anyway? I just like how they dance. My mom and dad took me to a football game a couple weeks ago at the high school and I loved watching the cheerleaders dance to the band music and especially the halftime show. It looked like so much fun.
So I told my mom I wanted to be a cheerleader for Halloween and she found me a black-and-white sweatshirt and a red skirt and white tights and my neighbor’s old red-and-yellow pom-poms, which aren’t the same colors as the pom-poms that the high school cheerleaders have. Those are red and black and white, but my neighbor went to the all-girls high school so they had different colors. I didn’t mind so much though because the pom-poms were definitely the best part of the costume, way more better than the stupid skirt.
“We’ll go trick-or-treating after dinner,” my mom says as we walk into school. I’m in kindergarten and today is Halloween and it’s going to be the most fun day of school ever. My mom is one of the room mothers so that means she is helping throw the party for my class. She has a big bag of apples so we can bob for apples later. I don’t know what that means but she says it will be really fun. The other room mother, Mrs. Gage, Lindsey’s mom, is bringing the cupcakes because she’s better at baking than my mom. My mom is really good at writing though so she made all the placemats and other signs and stuff for the party. I hope I can write as good as her someday.
Before the party is the school parade. Last year my mom took me to watch the parade when my sister, Tracy, was in fifth grade and she dressed up like a punk rocker and dyed her hair pink and I jumped up and down and told my mom I couldn’t wait to be in the Halloween parade next year.
The kindergartners get to start the parade, which is really cool because little kids never get to do anything first. It stinks being the littlest. I have two older sisters and an older brother and they’re always bossing me around and picking on me and sometimes my sister Tracy beats me up but she’s a lot bigger than me so I can’t do anything about it. But, ha-ha, today the little kids are the best because we get to start the parade.
My mom made me put on my jacket, but you can still see my red skirt and white tights and my pom-poms so that’s OK and it isn’t that cold outside but it’s kinda windy. The parade starts with the kindergartners walking through our classroom and then the other kidergarten classroom so everyone can see our costumes. Then we walk single-file through the first-grade classrooms so everyone can see our costumes and then the first-graders get in line behind us. And we go through all the classrooms in the whole school so everyone in the whole school can see our costumes and then the whole school joins in on the parade. A lot of the older girls touch my pom-poms as I go by and I shake them and say “go fight win!” like my sister told me to do and they smile and I think everyone likes my costume.
Then we get to the sixth-graders’ classroom and I see my sister Tracy and tell her “go fight win!” and she messes up my hair. I hate when she does that, it’s so embarrassing. But she’s smiling at my cheer so I think she likes my costume too. She dressed up like a hippie this year. I don’t know what that means but she has her hair parted down the middle and is wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt and sunglasses. She looks pretty.
Then the parade goes outside and we walk down 78th street to Grover Street and then turn back up 79th Street to the school. Everyone’s parents and baby brothers and sisters and all the teachers are outside to watch the parade. The sun is shining and it’s real windy so my hair is in my face and my pom-poms are blowing all over, so I hold onto them super tight because I can’t lose the pom-poms.
My mom told me to take extra-special care of them because they are my neighbor Angie’s and she was nice enough to loan them to me so I have to be responsible.
After the parade, we go back to our classroom and it’s decorated with orange and black and there’s a big barrel filled with water and I think those are apples floating in there and there are cupcakes and spooky music is playing. This is the coolest party I’ve ever been to, even cooler than Gina Mangiameli’s birthday party last year at the pool.
The party ends and I help my mom clean up the room. I don’t even mind cleaning because it was such a fun party and then we drive home. “How much longer until-trick-or-treating?” I say again, bouncing up and down in my seat.
“Just a couple more hours.”
AHHHHH!!! I can’t wait!!!!
I have time to play before dinner and I hope that makes the hours go faster. The sun is out and the yard is covered in leaves, and my neighbors Randy and Tony help me build a leaf fort. Randy is dressed up like He-Man and Tony is a cowboy. Their costumes are so cool. I’m still wearing my cheerleading costume even though my mom told me it’s not ladylike to climb trees in a skirt and I’m getting my white tights all dirty.
“Are you guys excited to go trick-or-treating?” I ask as I swing myself up onto a branch. Randy and Tony are my best friends but we’re not in the same kindergarten class so I don’t get to see them as much anymore.
“Yeah! We are going to get so much candy!” Randy says while hanging upside down from the lowest branch on our tree. I wish I could do that but I’m too scared of falling.
“I know! I heard the Palmesanos have Snickers this year and the Blairs always have Kit-Kats,” Tony says while piling up the side of our leaf fort. It’s almost as tall as me now.
“Yeah, but don’t go to Old Mrs. Johnson’s,” Randy says, pointing to the brick house down the street, “She just gives out bags of five pennies. That’s dumb.”
All this talk of candy and trick-or-treating, I am so excited. I’m so excited that I don’t think I can take it anymore! I’m so excited that … I kinda feel like I have to pee. Like that time we were playing hide-and-seek and me and Randy found a really good hiding place but as soon as we got there I was so excited that I had to pee and then I gave away the hiding place when I ran inside to go to the bathroom and Randy was like, “Oh, man, Maggie! You ruined it!”
Oh gosh, I really gotta go. It’s hard to do that thing where you close your legs together tight when you’re up in a tree. Maybe I better get down now. Yes, I need to hurry because I don’t want to pee my pants ESPECIALLY not in front of my friends and ESPECIALLY not in my Halloween costume.
I jump down from the tree and oh no. Oh no. I can’t hold it anymore. There is something warm running down my legs and onto my white tights. And then I run as fast as I can to the front door of my house. “Where are you going, Maggie?” I hear Tony shout.
“I gotta go inside now, see you guys later!” I yell as the screen door slams shut behind me. I keep running until I find my mom standing over the sink in the kitchen.
“Mom?” I start crying. “I … ruined my costume.”
Mom looks up and sees me tugging on my skirt again. She isn’t mad or anything. I don’t have accidents a lot, honest, I just get too excited sometimes.
I go into the bathroom and take off my wet tights and underwear and skirt and my mom puts them in the washer machine. They’re not going to be ready in time for trick-or-treating though.
I pout at dinner. “I don’t like meatloaf,” I say.
“Well, you’re not going trick-or-treating unless you eat,” my mom says.
“Fine. I don’t have a stupid costume anymore anyway. Halloween is stupid.” I eat a couple bites of meatloaf and potatoes and then stomp to my room.
My sister Tracy is getting ready to go trick-or-treating with her friends. The big kids get to go trick-or-treating without parents. They’re so lucky.
Me and Tracy share a room and she sees me staring at her in the mirror. I’m laying on my bed pouting. She walks over to my side of the room and then opens my dresser and pulls something out of the top drawer. It’s a pair of red sweatpants.
“Just tell everyone it’s too cold outside to wear a skirt. Besides, you still have your pom-poms, and that’s what makes a cheerleader a cheerleader, right?”
She messes up my hair and leaves the room. I pull on the sweatpants and grab my pillowcase, which I’m gonna use to hold the mountains of chocolate I get from my neighbors.
Skirts are stupid anyway.