As an adult, I've always sort of dreaded Halloween. I'm not completely sure why since there was no major traumatic event, but I think once I grew out of it as a kid, it never came back to me. In my early twenties, it was more about people dressing trampy and getting drunk, and I wasn't interested in that whole idea, well, mostly. In my late twenties early thirties I didn't really do much of anything on Halloween because a. lack of friends = lack of parties, b. I just wasn't into it, and c. I realized that was okay because most people don't go to fabulous parties in big mansions like on the soap operas, but stay home. So, now that I'm a mom, I really can't ignore the "holiday" anymore, which means getting out of my comfort zone and having fun through my kids, because they LOVE IT!
It's been a slow process for me. We get them costumes every year, but only last year at four did we take them trick-or-treating because they were all "what is trick-or-treating and we HAVE TO DO THAT mommy please please pretty please!?". I want to avoid having my kids resent me as adults because they never got to trick-or-treat. So, this year I managed to get much more into the fun, shopping months ahead at thrift stores for costume attire, going to hear Halloween stories at the Will Geer (that was a no-brainer), pre-Halloween party last weekend, carving pumpkins (well, we do that every year because I love the feel of slimy seeds), two parties Halloween night which included the now mandatory trick-or-treating, and candy eating on the late drive home (double duty on my mommy comfort zone).
I like that when we arrived at a new classmates home for the first party, Talia and Quinn immediately started running around and laughing and making it fun for everyone and getting the party started. I like that they didn't cling to my legs in fear, but smiled and dove right in to the spirit of the party. I like that my kids are not the wild destructors kicking down decorations but the gigglers and good friends.
Of course, we are paying the price today from lack of sleep with cranky tired meltdown over anything kids. And, how do you explain what a vampire is to a five year old? On the upside, it's daylight savings tonight and dark and rainy outside - that's all good for sleep. And, they are also extra playful, helping construct a huge living room haunted house fort (it's dark in the living room because they want it "spooky"). We also have lots of yummy sugary treats to bribe them with and some new neat dress up clothes.
As far as me, I'm stepping out of my mommy comfort zone slowly and doing just fine, but it still takes a conscious effort. It's important and I know it. Some things that matter at two don't matter as much now. Sometimes it's about lasting memories and bonds that overrule a 7pm bedtime. Now, you won't see me going all out on front yard decorations (how do people clean up those fake cobwebs?), or throwing a Halloween party anytime soon, but maybe next year I might, oh I don't know, dress up in a costume? Gasp! Did I just type that? Oh wow, I may be going over to the dark aka fun side.
(nope, that's not Talia...that's me)