Next to Christmas, Halloween is my favorite holiday. What's not to love? Costumes and candy!
What a strange American tradition of disguising oneself and knocking on the doors of strangers, demanding treats. And it is distinctively American. I found this out one October 31, when living in London after college. An Australian boy named, oh, what was his name, dressed as "Hula-ween" with pumpkins for a bikini, and I, Miss America 1975, in a purple polyester gown from Camden Market and daisies in my hair, garnered quite a few stares as we rode the Tube to a party thrown by ex-pats. They don't do Halloween in England! Huh. No wonder we revolted.
Last time I dressed up myself was pre-kids. I was Miss Transylvania. It was fabulous. (Try not to notice the pageant theme. Come to think of it, the year before that I was a homecoming queen - ok, so I act out my secret fantasies at Halloween. When I dress as an axe murderer, be concerned!)
Nowadays, Halloween seems to be a bit more stressful. Especially if you are unorganized like I am and tend to go "Crap! We need costumes!" sometime around October 20. Fortunately this was the first year Shepherd talked about it for a little while beforehand and made his desires known. His nagging paid off in the form of a fireman costume, which was not an easy accomplishment, I'll have you know. I get a Mommy Award for procuring that one.
Alas, my disorganization is the reason Eva Rose was a witch, again. She was supposed to be a princess, but when her mommy opened the costume her grandma had bought her at about 6pm on Halloween, it was quite a bit too small. In an odd Halloween miracle, she was unfazed.
Maggie was a bunny, for the sole reason that I had a hand-me-down bunny costume. But my word, was she cute.
And baby Ike was a tiger, because November 2006 Missy was sweet enough to buy a tiger costume on clearance at Old Navy for October 2007 Missy, who was exceedingly surprised and grateful. Takes quite a bit of brain loss to give your own self a surprise, I tell ya. Dementia's not all bad!
The tiger did growl just a little bit at being strolled around the neighborhood at what should had been his bedtime.
One of the fun things about parenting pre-schoolers is how they suddenly get things. This year, Shepherd and Eva Rose got Halloween. They loved it. They went up and down two blocks, rang each doorbell, and greeted whoever answered with "What's your name?" (Eva Rose) and "My name's Conner." (Shepherd.) Conner is a kid in Shep's pre-K class who is evidently pretty cool. Well, at least Shep's not pretending to be a homecoming queen like his momma.
Maggie toddled along behind, screaming and flailing like - you guessed it - a caught rabbit whenever her dad or I tried to pick her up. She double fisted candy, sucking through the wrappers. By the time her little legs had conquered each Mt. Curb, the kids had gone on to the next home, so she would wave "Bye-ee! Bye-ee!" to the neighbor and wander, er hop across their yard.
I think this is the first picture we have taken of all four of them at once.
Wow, I have a lot of kids.
Halloween is one of those events that was such as big anticipated deal when we were kids, and now on the parent side, I realize it is rather annoying to organize, only lasts about an hour, then exhausted kids are cajoled to bed and November gets kicked off with whiny tired candy beggars. It is much more fun to see it through their eyes.
Like most things.