Did I scare you?
I love Halloween. I have so many fun memories of trick or treating as a child and taking my own little monsters out as an adult.
When my kids were little, I used to work really hard at making their costumes. I’d find $1 a yard fabric earlier in the year and see great opportunities.
One year, Maggie wanted to be an angel, so I had Nick be a devil. He was pretty tiny, and wore red sweatpants, red high-top sneakers, a red sweatshirt and I had made a red hood with little white horns. He was so excited as I was sewing the horns on the hood. When he tried it all on the day before Halloween, he loved his outfit.
On Halloween day, I put his outfit on him, but before we put the hood on, I took a black eyeliner and darkened his eyebrows and drew a little mustache and goatee. He was sitting on the bathroom counter holding perfectly still while I did it. When I was done, he turned to see himself in the mirror, took one look and started screaming and trying to wipe it off his face. How could I not laugh?
Then there was the year that Maggie was a vampire. I slicked her pretty blonde hair back and did such a good job on her makeup that our friends didn’t recognize her. I had made this black cape out of a thick chunk of polar fleece-type fabric.
Years later, on our first Halloween in Avoca, there was a blizzard. The kids were so disappointed. The sweet little lady across the street called to see if I was bringing the kids over. She said because it was our first Halloween she had bought special treats for them. I told her I’d send the older two over, then quickly dressed Nick as a vampire while Maggie got ready. She had just turned 10, he was going on 5.
Off they went, then hit a couple more houses while they were out. When they got back, the snow had packed itself to the slightly fluffy cape. There was so much snow that the cape stuck out behind him. Because no one else was out, people had just dumped bowls of candy into their bags. Especially after Maggie mentioned a little brother at home that couldn’t go out in the snow.
One of my favorite Halloween memories is one I wasn’t even present to see. I had taken all three kids out while Eric and our buddy Brad stayed home and handed out candy. Matt was not quite 2 years old. Nick, almost 4, and Maggie, 9, were dressed as matching scarecrows. They were so darned cute! Little Matt was dressed as a dragon, complete with dragging tail and scales down his back.
We tromped around base-housing until it became quite obvious that the little dragon needed a diaper change. We dropped him off with Dad and continued on our way.
Later, after all the little monsters were tucked into their beds with sticky smiles on their faces, Eric showed me video of Matt that had been taken after I left. Still in his dragon outfit, with his tail sticking out the back, Matt was in his highchair eating chicken noodle soup. His little face was still green.
You can hear Eric, who was operating the camera, say, "Trick or treating is over for this little dragon." Matt is giving Daddy and the camera a sleepy-eyed look as he tries not to fall asleep in his soup.
Memories like that make me miss my little kids.
Living in Avoca, we’re never sure how many kids will stop by. Some years there are a few, some years there are plenty. I love seeing them come to the door. The little ones are shy, with wide eyes and hesitant steps. The older ones are elbowing each other and jockeying for position. The little girls giggle, the little boys swagger and bluster.
There are quite a few kids in town this year, including the girl gaggle that moved in across the street, so I’ll anxious to see what costumes everyone comes up with.
I’m stocked up with candy, the yard is slightly spooky and Eric and I are ready, so if you’re out trick or treating tonight, be sure to stop by.
Just for fun, here’s Jeff all decked out for Halloween this year. It took Matt forever to get him to hold still for this picture.