Walking the aisles of Costco after work I was taken aback by a rack of Halloween costumes. I stopped in my tracks almost unable to move.

No, these were not inappropriate. No “sexy kittens” for six –year-olds. I was at Costco – not Walmart.

These were adorable costumes for the two and under crowd. Lions, tigers, bears and more hung from the racks.

And I felt like I was punched in the gut.

I flashed back to last Halloween. Alex was a fresh two week old creature. It was a Monday – Jim’s first day back to work after taking two weeks off to spend time with our new family. I made it clear that we would not take Alex around the neighborhood at his tender age. Jim agreed. The poor kid slept 20 hours a day, he didn’t miss a thing.

I spent the day envisioning our future Halloweens. Jim would meticulously chart the route around the neighborhood being sure to see all of our friends and get the best candy for us, ahem, Alex. I would stay home, cooking and cleaning, waiting for my two best guys to come home and tell me about their travels. We would dump the pillowcase full of loot onto the floor and sort it. Jim and I would secretly hide a few pieces of our favorites – mine would be anything Reese’s, Jim would have anything fruity or sour. After putting our sugared-up kid to bed Jim would tell me all the funny stories about the night.

I couldn’t bring myself to buy a costume today. I looked at all the options but it became way too real for me.

Real that my child is going to turn one year old very soon.

Real that he will have his first “official” Halloween – costume and all.

Real that nothing is the way I planned it.

Lions, tigers and bears – most days I feel like Dorothy from Kansas. Not sure how to get back to the world I knew. It is all very strange here.

As widowed mom, life isn’t easy. At least not as easy I thought it would be. My husband was killed in a car crash in 2011 leaving me with a six-week-old baby to raise. Now 33-years-old, I write about single parenting, running a household, and my journey through grief. Follow my journey at www.alonewithalex.blogspot.com