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Spooks, Spirits And Gratitude
Mommy Musings
Teresa Hammond mug 3
Teresa Hammond

Oh hey … it’s me over here, the mom who wasn’t really prepared for her kids to grow up and yes, I’m still talking about it.

As I sat to write this week’s column there was one topic which was at the forefront of my mind. 2019 marked the first year I did not walk neighborhood streets with a horde of unidentified characters, spooks and goblins. Yes, this is the first year I was not in attendance with my children as they trick or treated.

In honesty, it was odd, as my oldest decided to bypass movie night with one group of friends, for a party with another and my daughter toured our old neighborhood with friends.

A few weeks prior to the night, the group text began amongst the “mommies.” The “mommies” are a group of moms who have shared the majority of this journey with me since my oldest was in pre-school and kindergarten. They’re also the tribe we’ve trick or treated with the past 10 years, as well as vacationed with on occasion.

As the text convo flew we each began grasping the fact that our littles weren’t so little anymore and our bigs were now exactly that. Fortunately, while the littles can tour the streets now without us, they can’t drive so this made for perfect cause for the mommies to camp out at the home we usually meet at and await their return.

Now before anyone writes in on our irresponsible parenting, I must share the littles were being tracked via smart phone as we visited in the warmth of my girlfriend’s home.

Each of us lamenting over how quick this had happened, followed by a term of endearment as the little characters of the neighborhood came to the door singing Trick or Treat. With so many years of trick or treat behind us, we each shared memories and some real good laughter as we allowed our chicks to fly.

Shortly after the thought of this column began playing out through my fingertips, I realized it’s also the first issue of November or a month many now use to share gratitude each day throughout the whole month.

Now many years into penning in this space, I thought perhaps it might be time to share some gratitude over the next few weeks. Speaking of the mommies it seemed a perfect place to start.

As so many know, the parenting gig is not an easy one. Just as you freak out over a tear in a kids costume or not dressing them in enough layers on a cold night, you are quickly minus the responsibilities. It truly goes in a blink.

Leaving my girlfriend’s house that night, driving off with my two in tow, less candy and more talking I realized how lucky we are. It’s one thing to journey through this parenting life and hope you’re not totally messing the kids up. I mean there’s no manual. Oh sure, there are plenty of books but I learned a long time ago that some of the best advice comes from those who know you and have traveled a similar path.

Parenting is not a one size fits all journey. We each go through struggles which some may shake their head at or scratch their chin. If you’re lucky however, I mean real lucky, you may get a tribe who doesn’t judge, doesn’t claim to know it all and is more than happy to share their failures as easily as their successes.

That’s pretty much the mommies (and dads) wrapped up in one quick paragraph.

So as I prepare for this next chapter of Halloween gatherings and dances versus begging strangers for candy, I can’t help but (oddly) feel grateful. It’s a lucky place to be when inside you want to cry real tears because you’ll miss hijacking candy, yet on the outside you’re laughing real laughter because the company you are in is feeling the exact same way.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.