The kids are old enough now to really start to appreciate the holidays. At 2 1/2, Chiara seemed to be most impressed with Halloween this year, although not quite familiar with the routine. Indeed, as we approached each house in the neighborhood for treats, Kaitlin and Angelina would have a footrace to see who would ring the doorbell. Meanwhile Chiara would ask every time "Is this our house?" She did not appear to be tired, cold or afraid of the costumes of the other neighborhood kids, so I puzzled over her obvious desire to be back home. Finally I asked, and the explanation revealed her pragmatism. Why should she walk from house to house for a single small piece of candy when she knew that we had a large bowl full of candy sitting on the table by the front door of our own house!
And for quite a while afterwards, the kids, especially Chiara, delighted in telling haunted stories at the dinner table each night. These usually involved witches, skeletons, and ghosts emerging from dark rooms and dungeons. Sometimes embellished with wolves, goblins or other monsters. To illustrate Chiara's fixation on these ideas as she tried to sort out what was real and what wasn't, here is an amusing incident from the grocery store two months later. Chiara & I were shopping for New Years party items and I was lamenting aloud the fact that the produce dept. ran out of scallions. "Scallions" was apparently a new word for Chiara. She puzzled over what I had said and then asked with a hint of real concern in her voice "Dad, ....Mom wants skeletons?"