Last Halloween night at Sojourners Community, we were expectant in more ways than one. We watched for the trick-or-treaters who were sure to find their way to our home, while we awaited a brand new child. A week before, my household at 1208 Fairmont Street had invited Dawn Longenecker and Jim Rice from the household across the street over for Halloween dinner—"unless the baby comes." The baby was coming.
Perhaps it was just as well that our meal together never happened that night. The doorbell rang every few minutes during the dinner hour and kept one of us (we took turns) running to greet the parade of garrulous ghosts, boisterous beasts, and swaggering superheroes that made the long climb up our front steps in the rainy winds that preceded Hurricane Juan. We thought we were well-prepared, but in no time at all we had passed out to the children in our neighborhood 28 boxes of raisins and 12 granola bars, and we were well on our way to depleting the house's supply of apples. Popcorn was going to be our last resort.
A cadre of our community children arrived toward the end of the evening. Denali DeGraf came as a tiger that wasn't sure whether to giggle or growl. Annie Soley was an equally intimidating and endearing jaguar. Three-year-old Timmy McLaughlin followed their example and, dressed in soft pink pajamas and floppy rabbit ears, approached our front door and let out a big roar—exhibiting his own "tiger in rabbit's clothing" twist on a familiar biblical image. His three-month-old brother, Joey, came as a cucumber, dressed in green from head to toe in a dark green sleeper and lime green knit hat.