Monday, November 2, 2009

Confessions of a Semi-Reformed Halloweenie

I don't like Halloween. It's scary. It's commercial. It's just plain icky.

My husband and MIL, however, L-O-V-E it. To them it is a fantasy day wrapped in sparkle and coated in chocolate. Yay!

So, when my six year old looked at me and asked, "Mommy, why don'tchoo like Halloween? Daddy and NaNa and I do!"

I explained I don't like it because it's scary. I don't like to be scared and I don't like him to be scared either. And then there are the spiritual implications. That is what started the campaign-the conversion of Mommy to no longer be a Halloweenie.

Every time we came upon Halloween decorations, and in my small western PA town, they are EVERYWHERE, he would point out the ones that were scary and those that were cute. "See, Mommy!" he would explain,"that's just a cute orange something or other. It's not scary!".

I'm politically savvy. I can read the polls and I was down. So I did what any self respecting Mama would do-I gave in. I gave in with caveats.

First, we would not decorate or watch or consume anything scary.
Second, we would only trick or treat once in NaNa's neighborhood.
Third, I would NOT dress up.

I bought the kids costumes. I packed the car. I drove to NaNas.

The MIL was ecstatic. She recounted tales of her own boys dressing up and eating so much candy they threw up! Such fun. Yay.

If Norman Rockwell had painted in the new millennium, he would have painted NaNa's neighborhood. It's a 'planned' community, with street lights and houses just different enough to feign uniqueness and similar enough to keep a common aesthetic. There are children, lots o' children. As we drove into the plan, the place was lit up with orange lights and decorations everywhere. It was like a pumpkin threw up on the place.

I was a little hesitant. It was raining. I wasn't sure the baby would wear the pumpkin costume (the only one in his size I could find at such a late date). I wasn't sure how this would all work. After all, I grew up overseas. We didn't really trick or treat. In high school we drank and threw up but that's another story.

MIL set the timer for the start of trick or treating. I am not kidding. The timer. Tick-tick-tick. It kept reminding me that I was a quitter. That I had given in. That I had compromised on the spiritual/economic/social boundaries I had hoped to set for my kids. Then it happened.

Ian got dressed as Spider Man and promptly began showing me his super hero "moves". The baby did indeed reject the pumpkin costume, which was a good thing as it made him look like he had a mini-baby, orange beer belly. He became, with a little black makeup under each eye and his jersey, Hines Ward. (For those of you not in PA, he's the best wide receiver in the NFL.)

The timer went off and so did we. Spiderman kept randomly running into things as he couldn't see through his mask. It kept getting 'steamy'. The baby just chased his brother and did what he did.

The baby and I came back to help NaNa hand out candy. In the cold darkness, we sat, a mountain of candy beside us. He kept whispering, "Come! C-o-m-e!" It was as if he was calling in the children. He passed out candy with a big grin. When a little purple fairy came, he gave her not one but two pieces of candy!

It was a magical night. The boys had a great time. The neighborhood came alive with children and families, laughing and having fun. There wasn't a bit of ickiness in sight.

Do I like Halloween? Not really. I do like, however, sharing a magical moment with my boys. I will forever remember a whispered call into the cold night by my sweet two year old. I will think of my little super hero when he is old enough to conquer his own enemies.

And maybe next year I won't be such a big Halloweenie.

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1 comment:

  1. You know drinking in High School is illegal AND so is employing a two-year old to hand out candy. Geez, you yinzer's are weird. LOVE this post. xox


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