Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I'm actually not sure if it is Halloween or Autumn in general. I love the colors, the cool air, the changing of the wardrobe, making a costume with my son, carving pumpkins with the kids, going on hayrides – all of which seem to happen in October. I don't love buying candy, the squirrels eating my pumpkins, or the five pounds I consistently add to my thighs from all the candy brought into the house though.
How do you feel about Halloween? Tell us in the comments.
Halloween is not a simple event in our house. It takes us at least a month to get ready for the big night, which realistically is more than one night now if you include our Cub Scout Halloween Party, the Loomis Costume Social and the Safe Halloween Night at Main Line Health, which has become tradition with friends. What used to be one night of fun is now a month-long event.
Why a month? Because every year my son Peter asks me to construct a costume for him. His costumes get a bit more complex every year. At 4, he was an astronaut being pulled in a space shuttle, at 6 he was a Wii remote with LED lights and this year he wants to be a boy in a cage being carried by a pumpkin monster, and he wants noise and lights. That's just one kid's request. Luckily, my second son Teddy has requested a store-bought costume with just a bit of an embellishment of glow paint.
It won't be easy and I'm not sure where I will find the time to do it, but I would never say no because it's not only a tradition for us as we build it together, but it was a tradition from when I was a little girl and my dad made my costumes.
Needless to say, Halloween, the events, the costumes – it has become a source of stress.
Before kids, Halloween was a simple, no stress party holiday. I would stop by a Halloween shop for a cape and witch hat and that was all I needed to go to a party.
Once you have kids, everything gets more complicated. And the older those kids get, everything gets even more complex and ridden with issues.
When it was just one baby, I remember pushing the stroller from house to house to show off my son to the neighbors. Once Peter was able to walk on his own, the rules got more complex:
- Is his costume flame resistant?
- Is it too loose? Will he trip or get caught up in someone’s branches?
- Is that make-up going to cause an allergic reaction?
- If I don’t use makeup, does his mask impede his vision?
- Can I get him to wear something reflective that isn’t going to ruin his costume’s look?
- Can I keep him from eating his treats until someone has checked them?
Do you have rules for when your kids go trick-or-treating? Tell us in the comments.
Now that I’ve got two kids and they are getting older still, it gets even more complicated. More things come into play. I’ve caught my kids making plans with their friends to go trick-or-treating. I'm not sure where visits to the grandparents or trick-or-treating with cousins fits in anymore.
My sister has warned me that this will go a step further when the boys inform me that not only do they want to trick-or-treat with friends, but they don't want me tagging along. That's the year my witch hat and cape will come in handy for when I need to trail the boys from house to house, undercover.
But this year, it's still mine. A few pounds and a handful of stress isn't going to stop me from having fun with my boys, not when I'm still an acceptable costume accessory.