The weekend before Halloween, David’s sister came out from Palo Alto, and we all went to a little farm on the east side of town – I had taken Alice there once before, when she was maybe 2 – to pick out pumpkins.


We fed goats and took a hayride – Alice worried it would go too fast.


Then we found the pumpkin patch and chose a couple to take home.



This was the first year Alice was really interested in Halloween. On afternoons, she would ask to sit on my lap and browse costumes online. For an hour or two, I had her considering “Princess Witch,” but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think she ever wavered from Cinderella. She had thoughts on what her sister should be. A baby princess. Maybe a mermaid.

“How about Frida Kahlo?” I suggested.

“Oh, Mama,” she said. “Please, no.”

In the end, they were Cinderella and Rosie the Riveter. Soledad and I managed the candy bowl at home while David took Alice trick-or-treating. He said she curtsied at every doorstep.


I had taken Alice to the fabric store with me to buy the material for her costume. While we were there, she found a bag of faux spider web that she asked to bring home to decorate her room. I said OK, and we hung it up all over her bed.

“So spooky!” she said, and she was genuinely excited about it. But that night, when it was time to go to sleep, she decided it was a little too spooky, and she asked me to take the webs back down.

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