Halloween isn’t my absolute favorite holiday. I find costumes to be stressful, because they are cumbersome to put on, usually uncomfortable to keep on, and all those accessories wind up lost by the end of the night. It’s a lot of rushing around at night, fast eating, sugar, and whining. But that is not how my littles see it, and for that reason, I make the effort. I baked with pumpkin at least three times in the month of October. I volunteered at all of their school Halloween parties. I put up Halloween decorations, and have promised them that I’d buy at least two new decorations each year… so by the time they graduate, I’ll have amassed a whole haunted house to pass down to them. And we celebrated the heck out of this holiday… we went to four costumed events this year. I try. I really do.
For them, of course, it’s sheer amazingness. They get to be something imaginary and awesome. They begin planning it as soon as the Halloween costume catalogs start piling up on the kitchen counter. For Bella and Ari, this involved glamour and makeup and hairspray and tulle and feathers and shimmeryness. For Gabe and even Liam, it involved some pretend violence and fake weaponry. For them it rocks, because they get to run around with their friends with a very scant amount of supervision, have twenty seven desserts in lieu of eating dinner, and beg for candy for like… hours.
Of course by the time Halloween night rolls around, we’ve done this so many times that I feel like we’re old pros at it, and I could tie Gabe’s ninja mask on with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back. Practice makes progress!
Bella was a peacock. Liam was a knight in shining armor. Gabe was a stealth ninja. Ari was a pretty witch (she boycotted the hat).
We had way more fun in their classrooms than the picture below portrays. Bella won’t give me a natural smile unless I make a fool of myself or talk bathroom humor.
We went trick-or-treating in the cousins’ neighborhood this year, because we wanted to be with the buddies and attend their awesome driveway party. I didn’t see Gabe almost the whole night, because he took off with Vance and the other big kids from the neighborhood. I can’t believe he’s already at that age. First independent trick-or-treat. It’s strange… and a little sad… but so cool for him.
The younger ones stayed with us, and we somehow covered a lot of ground. Even Liam and Lucas were totally into it. Ari had, by this time, perfected her Halloween vocabulary on her talker and could basically do the whole trick-or-treating thing without us if only we had a van that would transport her power chair. She said “trick-or-treat” and “thank you” right on time at every house, and picked just one piece of candy from the bowl to put in her candy bucket each time. She loved telling people she was a “witch” and wishing them “Happy Halloween!” when they asked her/said Happy Halloween to her. She would even try to scare us by saying “Boo” on her talker, which was amusing, because the tone of voice on the talker did not deliver the emphasis that I think she intended. That said, she did a great job, and I was so proud of her. Clearly, extreme repetition and high motivation pay off when it comes to language acquisition for Ari.
It was a super fun night, everyone including me had a blast, and now I’m so glad we have a whole year before we have to do it all again ;).