Star Belle hobbled back into town on last Sunday afternoon. For mothers with kids it was a quick turn around to Halloween on Monday. It meant lots of last minute getting of things, carving of pumpkins and roasting of pumpkin seeds. (Mom, they said, Mom, let's roast pumpkin seeds, they said! Come on, Mom!..and then I did and then those sad little pumpkin seeds sat forgotten on the table. I shoulda seen that coming, I said.)

It was a beautiful night to be trick or treating. The town was out, we saw our friends and our neighbors walking the streets. People had fires in fire pits on their driveways, Halloween lights strung, candy, candy, candy and no need for a jacket. Jon stayed at the house passing out candy and I walked with the younger boys. My thirteen year old decided to stay home, but when he got a call to go over to a friend's house at 8:30pm he was so excited, he yelled goodbye, hopped on his bike and was gone. We came home with pillow cases full of candy just like I did when I was a kid. We stayed up too late and dragged ourselves out of bed the next morning. Good times.

The younger boys didn't need me with them. Next year they can go out on their own. The older boy is so smart and funny and responsible, he's got it together like a boss. It's like I looked up one day and they were older than I remembered. I looked up one day and the distance between them and me had grown wider, not because they don't need me, but because they don't need me in the same way as before. I see them navigating the world more and more on their own and I get to stand back and watch and be ready if they need me. Otherwise, my job is slowly turning into the roadie and guitar tech off stage. They play the show, I help them get the right gear for the gig. I'm waiting in the wings in case the set falls down, but other than that, I'm support. It's not my show anymore. It's awesome and it's heartbreaking.

We listened to the World Series on the radio in the living room. I tried to explain to my children that it was history. I have a secret love for baseball that doesn't get quenched much. Back when we lived in St. Louis we were given tickets to Cardinals games over the years and I fell in love with the ballpark. There is nothing like it. It feels magical to me. Listening to the game on the radio you'd think would be frustrating, but it wasn't. It was magical and, for one night, America kicked ass and we all loved it. I loved it. My kids, however, didn't grasp the import. Kids.

I started a stupid diet on Monday and I've stuck with my stupid diet this whole week. I use this stupid diet app where you log everything you put in your mouth and it calculates the calories and exercise and then, at the end of the day, it projects how much you'll weigh in five weeks if you stick with your stupid calorie in take. The ample use of the word "stupid" would imply that I don't want to be on a diet and that's true, but I chose this and I like to think that the more days I stick with this stupid diet, the less inclined I'll be to call it stupid. That sounds reasonable, right? Here's hoping.

Tonight my friends come in to town and we're going to play a show. My friend Lloyd is the hero of tonight because he took it upon himself to sell all the tickets. I'm not known for my self-promotion skills, Lloyd knows that and became my champion. I wrote a song for him last year when his wife passed away. I don't think he's ever heard it. I wonder when I'll ever get a chance to sing it for him. It's pretty sad, but when I sing it I can see him and Carol sitting across from one another at table 8 at the restaurant and we're talking about Hawaii and the Pearl Harbor memorial and then he's teasing her and she's half smiling and half rolling her eyes. We all wish we could be like Lloyd and Carol. 

So that's what's up. The kids are growing up, we're getting on, the sun still shines and the Cubs won the World Series. I log my calories for a hard-boiled egg and sip my herbal tea so I'm not fat when I turn forty. I get up at 5am (today) to help my son brown hamburger meat and get ready for his Boy scout camping trip that starts after school and I figure out what songs to sing for tonight's show while cleaning the downstairs bathroom. That's how you do it. Happy Friday.

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