If I've told you once, I've told you dozens of times: I really, really don't like Halloween.
I hate a macabre day of un-deadness that encourages people to slink up from behind in some dreadful disguise and scare the ever-livin' stuffing out of me.
Which is why I was un-thrilled when Kerry and Kyle came home with Kyle's costume: yet another embodiment of wicked horror. This year, we're talking zombie surgeon, complete with split-open chest plate with the guts dripping out and horrendously twisted creep face. Awesome.
This is the 10th time I've had to call the Fire Department to come and gently pry me down from the family room ceiling fan to which I became embedded when Kyle sprung out from behind the couch to model the ensemble.
In fact, only when he was a toddler (and dressed as Spiderman or Harry Potter) has my son had Halloween costumes that haven't sent me into a catatonic state.
From about age 3 until now, Dad's been in charge of selecting Kyle's costumes which have included, over the bloody years: Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger. Stellar.
I mean, just knowing those serial-killer masks are lying in wait in a drawer somewhere unsettles me for the entire month of October ... and I'm not alone.
"Oh yeah, I needed an oxygen tank the year my husband decided our 8-year-old should dress as 'Leatherface' from 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,'" said my pal and Trumbull County native Charleen Scott.
She nearly dialed 9-1-1 when the boys emerged from the hall closet looking like 'CSI: Warren' victims, covered in the fake blood they'd concocted while she was at work. "I hate Halloween," she shuddered.
Yes, folks, there's little scarier than living with horror-movie-loving boys - except the fear that you may have answered a deep, philosophical question from the younger of them incorrectly.
What I mean to say is: there are pivotal moments in the life of your child that can have drastic impact on their entire belief system from that day forward.
And just the other day, as I was thinking the toughest question I'd have to field from my almost 12-year-old was "May I go trick-or-treating alone with my friends this year?" - we reached one of said moments.
"Mom, do you ever have trouble understanding how God can do, you know, all the stuff He does? Like, the miracles and how heaven doesn't end?" said Kyle with great uncertainty in his voice.
Whoa; the prospect of botching my response scared me more than 500 Halloweens all monster-mashed together.
Drawing a deep breath, I explained that, as humans, it's absolutely difficult for us to imagine Godly things like eternity or the ability to arise from death.
"But, if you are open to them, you'll see the signs everywhere that He's real," I said slowly.
As proof, I offered: the abiding loyalty of family; the marvels of childbirth and the natural wonders of the world; music that moves you so deeply it makes your hair stand on end; people on the brink of death who recover without medical explanation; and the unconditional love from man's best friend - a creature whose very moniker backward is GOD.
"You know the biggest, surest sign? The faith that's passed from grandparents to parents to children ... and so on," I said, searching for my own sign - of acknowledgement.
"I can honestly tell you, without any hesitation or doubt, that even though I don't always understand, I believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Looking down at his chest, Kyle said, "Yeah; God's around. He's in your heart." Indeed.
All right, all right, so maybe there is that one ghost I'm actually grateful to have hovering around-but no others, just Him ... and maybe Casper.
Happy Halloween, all!
Kimerer is a Halloween disser and Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at pkimerer@zoominternet. net.