These are the gravestones the Brainiac made with her dad when she was nine years old. They cut them out of wood and used a burning tool to write the messages, which I dreamed up.
Every year since then we make a little graveyard on either side of the walkway to the house to scare the trick-or-treaters.
Last year I had to ask a neighbor kid to put up the graveyard with me. The Athlete was too busy and The Brainiac was clearly not interested.
This year it was just The Entrepreneur out there with me, pounding the stakes into the ground and hanging the bats and cobwebs.
Part of me wanted to avoid the dangerous climb up the ladder to the crawl space over the garage where the tombstones live the rest of the year. But Halloween would feel kind of wrong without them.
That's how it is with traditions. Pretty soon you are doing them because it feels weird not to.
I have a little prediction that one day those tombstones will be like the cookie jar that my dad got his Oreos out of every night after dinner. They will be fought over by the very children who now think they are a little bit silly.
How smart that there are four of them. One for each kid to carry on the tradition.