Darkness, fear and uncertainty filled the air inside my house instead. The eerie feelings grew with each breath I took.
Continual screams blasted in my aching ears. I had not slept in two days. As I glanced in the mirror, I did not recognize myself. Who was this zombie standing before me?
While neighborhood kids walked the streets for goodies, I stood pacing in a barely lit hallway. Panic was creeping in. Anxiety was filling up my entire body and worse, my mind. My life felt like a deceiving trick rather than a treat during this Halloween night in 2007.
Earlier that day I had nurses and doctors helping me. I had a team of caregivers looking out for my best interest. I had hope and stamina and expertise at my fingertips.
Now I was alone, completely and utterly alone. Well almost…
As the cries grew louder from my two-day old infant daughter, I wanted a ghoul, troll or witch to take me away. I hoped a wizard would cast a spell upon us both. Would a Death Eater find its way from Hogwarts to me? Would Frankenstein’s Monster grab hold of my baby? Would I transform into Mr. Hyde any moment now? Would Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come show me my dark future – revealing the mistakes I was about to make?
Why would I have these crazy thoughts? Because as a first-time mother, I was afraid. I did not know what the hell I was doing. All the classes and parenting books did not prepare me for my first night home alone with my child on All Hallows’ Eve. I was petrified and could not calm her shrieks or my doubts.
I had waited nine months and longer for this bundle of joy. Yet now she seemed a dwarf who could remove my soul and sanity.
I reminded myself to pause. I calmed my racing pulse by breathing with more intent. Slowly I discovered small bursts of courage.
Eventually I rocked that crying baby of mine to sleep. Soon after that, I drifted off to slumber.
Weeks later I was less fearful of being a mom. My daughter and I settled into a routine that suited us both. In time I began to tell funny, heartwarming stories of my child rather than this frightening true tale.
Still, I will never forget our first Halloween together, the scariest night of my life. ‘Twas an evening when I almost wished my baby to be stolen by Jareth, the Goblin King deep into the Labyrinth.