Nov
01

Halloween Through New Eyes

By

Halloween has always held a special place in the hearts of my husband and me. Some people don’t understand the appeal, and admittedly I’m not a fan of the ubergore and sex that has come to accompany things macabre. Having a daughter makes me even more sensitive to that, but I choose to look past that and find the fun in the dressing up and the chance to laugh and have fun with the dark side of life and the things that scare us.

I always thought Halloween was fun, and then I met my husband. He is a fan of classic horror and likes staying up late and watching monster movies, and, well, Charlie is her father’s daughter! I was worried how she might handle the scary factor, but it hasn’t seemed to bother her. This year our Muffin is not quite three, but ghosts and pumpkins and witches and skeletons have captured her imagination. Of course, her recent Scooby Doo addiction has played a big part in that. Maybe it has even helped frame things like monsters in more palatable light. I mean, if Scooby and Shaggy can handle being chased by witches and mummies, then maybe it’s not so scary after all. If it helps her get that there’s just a mask to pull off at the end of the day, then score one more for Scooby and the gang!

Having a kid definitely adds to the fun of Halloween. This year was even more exciting for us because it was the first year Charlie was old enough to go trick-or-treating.  I let her choose her costume because I knew too well that my little opinionated Muffin would not just wear any old thing I chose for her. I was expecting her request to be Daphne or maybe Scooby himself, but no; she said she wanted to be a witch (I think she had seen recent Scooby episodes involving witches).

Greg and I then geared up for getting her ready for the big day. We talked up Halloween and her witch costume.  We picked out some age appropriate Halloween books to read to her. We had her practice saying “trick or treat.” And we made neighborhood drives to look at all the Halloween decorations while she pointed and squealed, “I want to see more ghosts!” This was her favorite house (I’m sure because of the giant spider):

It was the first Halloween we’ve spent on the East Coast in fourteen years and the day could not have been more perfect. It was cool and crisp, the ground was covered with autumn leaves, and the streets were LINED with trick-or-treaters. There’s just something special about an East Coast Halloween that I didn’t realize I missed until now.

Around 2:3o we headed out the door and started by taking Charlie to the house next door. Wow, our first trip out as the mom and dad of a trick-or-treater! Standing back on the sidewalk with camera in hand as her daddy walked her up to the door was a feeling I won’t soon forget. It’s one of those moments that makes motherhood all that much more special.  And Charlie?  She was a pro. “Trick or treat,” she said with a shy smile to the neighbor who opened the door. And then, the candy safely deposited into her plastic witch cauldron, she added “thank you.”

Of course, later, as we looked over her cache of goodies later that day, Charlie informed me that it was her candy and she would not be sharing. Hmmph. The kid learns quick.

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