I’ve always been a Halloween girl. My birthday is Oct. 28, so I guess that’s not a surprise. I couldn’t wait to dress up and trick or treat as a kid. I never missed “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and could even recite more than a few of the lines. Now, as a 45-year-old mom, I love to experience all the ghoulish glories of my favorite holiday vicariously through my children.
Or at least I used to.
I made their costumes by hand (well, I did one year anyway). I covered my shrubs in cobwebs and planted tombstones and skulls in my flowerbeds. Mummies, skeletons and giant spiders welcomed visitors on our porch. The living room looked as if Frankenstein had vomited pumpkins, ghosts and witches all over it. Not a spot in the house went undecorated. Halloween was everywhere.
But this year was different.
I only dug out one bin of decorations from the basement (I have at least five). The porch featured three Pottery Barn-esque clay jack-o’-lanterns and a tasteful copper skeleton. I left the cobwebs to nature, and Frankenstein never even made it out of the crawlspace.
It’s hard to feel, well, Halloween-y when your kids reach the tween and teen years. They want to trick or treat alone or at least at a distance. First you are relegated to the end of the block; eventually you aren’t even asked to tag along.
This year my 13-year-old wandered the neighborhood with his horde of fellow hoodlums, I mean, teenagers. My 11-year-old trick-or-treated and partied with her best friend’s family. And my husband and I stayed at home to hand out candy.
I have to admit that I was more than a little bummed to be left out of the holiday revelry. I wore my hot pink skull T-shirt. I stocked my cauldron with fun-size chocolate bars. But I just wasn’t feeling it.
Until 15 teenage girls and boys descended upon our house.
Don’t worry. They were invited. My husband and I skipped the Halloween fun this year so our son could host an after-party. Chaperoning is far less exciting than partying, but it was a great group of kids and we didn’t have any problems. The kids exchanged candy and ate pizza. I think there may even have been a game of Truth or Dare in the basement. But of course I can’t be certain because I never, ever spied on them.
Who am I kidding? Of course I did a little spying. I was thrilled to overhear more than one of the kids say they had a great time, and someone actually told my son his parents were cool.
It was a very different Halloween this year. It wasn’t all about me. In fact, it wasn’t at all about me. But my teenager and his friends had an awesome night.
You know what, Charlie Brown? I’ll take that rock.
Last night when I was out with my 2 & 4 year olds, there was this group of parents/neighbors who set up tables in the driveways and had pumpkins and beer and candy for the kids and dogs all dressed up. When we stopped by, they were delighted in our kids and said that theirs were all teenagers and off by themselves and it had happened so quickly. It was fun to see that they found a way to still enjoy even though their kids were having an independent Halloween, and my kids loved the attention. It also scared the crap out of me because that will one day happen to me: waking up wondering how my kids became teens.
Hi, Kiki. It really does seem to all go by in the blink of an eye, but you have lots of fun to look forward to. I remember ages 4 and 6 being the beginning of a new era for us. No diapers. No naps. Everything got notably easier and more enjoyable. We started traveling more and had lots of fun adventures. And we still do. All those early memories we made together bonded us, I hope, forever. As crazy as your life may feel now with two such young kids, you will look back and lovingly remember all of it. I know I do.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
oooh i love this. so much. my little isn’t even 3 yet so it’s sooooooooooo much fun. but i can see how that fun would dwindle in time, which is sad… but coolio for you guys to host a party so you can at least still be a part of it all!
Thanks, Christina. I am hoping both my kids will be comfortable in our home as teenagers. I was always off doing my own thing in my teens because I didn’t feel at home at my parents’ house. Fingers crossed that things will be different for us.
Aw, I loved this.
Thanks so much, Erica. I love it when you stop by.
Our 2 year old and 10 week old didn’t really understand what was going on, but the toddler had fun until the sugar kicked it and she went ballistic. Hopefully there will be a Hallowe’en sweet spot age where they’ll be old enough to handle the sugar and later bedtime, but young enough to still enjoy it with us as a family.
I’m in the same boat. One child is out of nest. One went out trick-or-treating with friends. Dad took our youngest out and I stayed home with the dog to hand out candy — wondering where the years went. I used to my our oldest all this costumes. He was an only child for a long time. It was fun.
It’s crazy how fast it goes by, isn’t it? One out of nest? Wow! I’m already agonizing over my oldest starting high school. I can’t imagine anything beyond that yet. But I know it will be here soon enough.
I am where you are. Erin knows how to roll with it too. We had a blast at her house yesterday around a “bonfire” while our hoodlums roamed the neighborhood. And I am getting inklings that I may be have an impromptu bunch of teens at my house on Saturday. Trick-or-Treating is all messed up here because of Hurricane Sandy and our neighborhood is having “Halloween” on Saturday. And my daughter and another friend in the neighborhood may or may not be telling people to come on over. Bought extra candy today. Getting snacks tomorrow. 🙂 Ellen
P.S – those costumes are GREAT!
Thanks, Ellen. In the nine years that have elapsed, I have a) misplaced the sewing machine and b) forgotten how to use it. Oh, well.
I guess we kinda have to roll with it, eh? What choice do we have? I’d rather be the house they all want to visit than the one they shun.
Thank the lord or whomever for finished basements! We just did ours last winter and it was the BEST home improvement investment of all.