Her tears made streaks in the green face makeup as she sat crumpled on the pavement, her iridescent blue dress in a heap surrounding her.
"They won't wait, Mommy," my youngest said tearfully as she raised her green face and looked at me with her sad eyes. The vampires and Mario characters whizzed by us in a blinding flash. She was right. They're weren't waiting for her as they dashed from one house to the next filling their bags, plastic pumpkins and pillow cases with mini-candy bars and lollipops. But they weren't doing it on purpose. They were just kids having fun.
"What do you want to do, Sweetie?" I asked pulling out strands of her blonde hair that had become stuck in the green makeup that was now forming a paste with the tears on her round cheeks.
"Get this makeup off, it itches," she cried.
I grabbed her hand and took her down the street into our house where we wiped off the makeup with a handful of tissues. She told me she wanted to go to bed, so we went to her bedroom where she sat on her rocking chair and started to cry again.
"I'm missing the best day of the year," she said through tears. My heart ached for her. I didn't want to push her to go back out, but I knew she would regret it if she didn't go.
"Well, then let's get back out there. We can catch up to them. I know we can," I said taking her hand and practically levitating her off the chair. We ran up the street to find the group of Power Rangers, devils, and princesses standing exactly where we had left them.
"We waited for you," my oldest daughter said extending her vampire hand to my little Statue of Liberty. "Come on, let's go."
Suddenly, there was a smile on my little girl's face as she pulled up the hem of her dress, hiked her candy bag up high on her shoulder, raised her mock torch and ran off with the crowd. I followed with my flashlight making sure she was keeping up. Turns out, I was worried about nothing. By the end of the night Lady Liberty was leading the pack.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called "Smotherhood." Find her here on Mondays.