Happy Halloween Eve! I've always been a lover of holidays, and this one is no exception. I've adorned my home with pumpkins and bats, bought the candy to hand out to the little princesses and ghosts, filled the candy dish with candy corn......I'm ready. Bring on the trick or treaters!
The preparation has gotten much easier as my kiddos have grown into adults. The hours spent on costumes were many, mostly because I was one of those crazy moms who often made her children's costumes. I'd dust off the sewing machine as early as August, pack up the boys, and make our annual trip to Hancock Fabrics. Let me tell ya, two toddlers in a fabric store is not fun. After spending ridiculous amounts on supplies, I'd construct their costumes with care. Before the youngest two cousins came along, my sis and I would coordinate the outfits worn by "WaWa" and "Sara Bibi". It was truly a fun season of life, but I honestly don't miss all of the stress. Not one iota.
I remember when I began buying the boys' costumes. It was freeing, but also a bit sad. I'll admit, I felt just a touch of a failure-guilt as a mom. But did that stop me from putting the sewing machine away and embracing this newfound freedom? Heck no! MAC sporting goods, the internet, and Party City were my new best friends.
The oldest was a traditionalist. He chose Batman for three or four years in a row, then was a MSU football player until he stopped dressing up. All I did was buy the same thing in a bigger size as he grew. Easy enough. The youngest, my thespian, was another story. He wanted the most detailed costumes, and they had to look just like the chosen character of the latest movie, down to the makeup application and props. Not always so easy.
The 31st of October could not arrive fast enough for the boys. The sight of their costumes hanging in their rooms waiting for the big day drove them mad. The youngest would often succumb to the pressure and do "test runs". Since he was often in costumes throughout the year, this was no surprise. He would be happy as a pig in slop if Halloween came every day. Every. Single. Day. I often wondered if instead of playing hide and seek in the middle of June, he was out ringing doorbells shouting, "Trick or Treat!", just for fun. If so, I apologize to my neighbors. Thank you for rummaging in your purses and drawers to find him a piece of gum. I'll make sure you're in his acceptance speech if he wins an Oscar. You helped groom him for his current endeavors.
I really needed a National Holiday to get them ready for Halloween. The few hours after school never seemed to be enough. It was dark by 6, and those three hours were not sufficient. It didn't help that I sometimes volunteered to have all of their family and friends at my house, complete with a hayride around the neighborhood for trick or treating, but that was my own doing. Thank you to their dad (Dr. B) and "Big Wayne" for always hooking up the trailer filled with hay and blankets, and hauling them street by street on their candy quest. I usually hung back with a couple of the moms and put out the hors d'oeuvres for the afterparty. We would feast and fellowship as the kiddos played in the yard and dug into their sweet stash. As hectic as it was, those are some of the fondest memories I have of their childhood. I wouldn't trade a minute of the tension leading up to the event.
So as you young moms and dads get ready for tomorrow, my advice is to soak it all in. Yes, you will feel like pulling your hair out, but it's worth it. The photos and memories you are creating will last a lifetime. Enjoy your children while they're young. They grow up so fast, and not all younguns are like my youngest, who purchased his 22nd Halloween costume last week. I'll be applying his Joker face with a smile, and thanking the Man above that I get to be a "Halloween Mom" once again.
Here are some memories of Halloweens past. It's a lot, I know, but I couldn't resist. Post your Halloween memories at bethroperstewart.com
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