I have a love/hate thing with Halloween. I love seeing little kids in costumes. I love their excitement. I love the old-fashioned trick-or-treating. I love when they dump their candy out on the floor like I used to do and trade with each other.
I also love the new tradition of Boo-ing. If you haven’t been Boo-ed it’s when someone knocks on your door and runs away leaving a bag or bucket full of treats. Then you have to Boo other people. It’s fun getting boo-ed, the surprise of it, the suspense of not knowing who did it and trying to figure it out, the joy of candy left on your doorstep. Adding to the joy is that fact that I think every time we’ve been Boo-ed the Boo-ers have made sure all of our treats are ok for my kids. If you don’t love someone with food allergies you might not appreciate what a big deal that is. I get a little teary-eyed thinking about it. My kids are so used to not being able to have things; to get a bucket full of stuff they can have is so exciting. And it warms this mama’s heart.
As fun as getting boo-ed is, boo-ing is even more fun! We make the goodie bags up and drive off in the minivan. Sneaking up to the door and knocking and running before they open it is just so much fun. You have to try it if you haven’t. I might start boo-ing people at random throughout the year. We park the car a little bit away from the house and it feels like an adventure. This year, Thomas wore a black ski-mask and Danny wanted one. Poor Danny ended up with one of my hats 🙂 We laugh and laugh, having so much fun. I think it will be a favorite Halloween memory for them, I know it is for me!
For all the fun, I hate the stress of costumes, class parties, the lure of peanut candy. Having four children with peanut allergies surely puts a dark cloud over the whole getting candy from strangers thing, but it’s not the only reason I hate Halloween. I also hate that all the candy around makes it harder to stick to my clean eating! That’s a story for another day.
I hate when Halloween is dragged out over days and days and days. I feel like a bah-humbug when I say that but it’s true. There were some years I had to get my kids in costumes 6 times or more. And as cute as they are once they’re in their costumes, getting them in those costumes is not always so cute. It’s hard enough to get them in regular shoes sometimes, let alone regular clothes plus costume plus coat.
Those years when they had to dress up for school when their school day did not fall on Halloween, dress up for the playgroup we went to, dress up on actual Halloween, dress up for the friend’s party with a Halloween theme that did not fall on Halloween…then there are the Girl Scout Halloween parties, the local trunk-or-treat events. Enough already! (I say this, but when the actual time comes it’s hard not to be happy for the little buggers in their costumes, and I end up getting caught up in the sweetness of it all, and chat happily away with the other moms!)
And having to find all the costumes? All the costume parts and pieces for 4 kids? Not my strongest area. I’m not a great, “Ok, we’re done with that, let’s put it where it belongs,” kind of person. God only knows where the cat tail or witch hat could be.
We also have our magical upstate place (a bungalow in a bungalow colony in the Catskills that’s really hard to explain but is the the happy place for all of us) Halloween. We celebrate our own little Halloween there on the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend. This is actually more a blessing though. While it drags the whole Halloween thing out more than I might like, it also forces me to be prepared well ahead of the real Halloween. Whereas in years past, I might be scrambling to throw something together the night before (or ugh- morning of!) Halloween, I am now strangely calm in the days before…something I am not quite used to.
On October 29th….”Oh, you don’t have costumes yet? I took care of that weeks ago.” I don’t really say that. But I chuckle to myself at the reality that I am prepared ahead of time. This does not happen often. (And this year our costumes arrived the Friday of Columbus Day weekend, causing us to leave late and costing me $30 in expedited shipping. Shhhh….)
It does leave an awfully long time for things to get lost, too. That poses a problem. This year, though, I shoved them all in the back of a closet shelf, and actually remembered where I put them 🙂
My kids were very cute and excited this morning, though, and Halloween falls on a day when all of them have school. Today we will wrap up Halloween for another year. So I am feeling a little more charitable. I’m looking forward to seeing them parade around in their costumes…and it’s Thomas’s last elementary school parade. I just thought of that…now I’ll probably cry at some point too!
And I have to run now, because of course I also just remembered I have to glue Thomas’s Riddler stick back together! So much for being calm…I don’t think I have any crazy glue! Hope your Halloween is a happy one 🙂