My memories of childhood Halloweens are so simple and happy, with none of the intensity (both positive and negative) that I associate with the bigger super-family-oriented holidays. My grandmother would take me trick-or-treating in her neighborhood, sometimes with my brother, sometimes with some of my friends. She could even be convinced to wear a costume. In later years, I’d go to a friend’s house and seek candy from there; one year, Grandma let us dye a bunch of clothes in her washing machine and sew hats in her basement so that we could go as Smurfs. And then we’d eat candy until we were totally high.
No complex family dynamics, no stressful preparations, no giving and receiving of gifts, no dirty dishes, no early rising. Just light fun, craftiness, companionship, and a good autumn walk. My kind of tradition.
This year, although I’m far away from my grandma, I did get to see her just a few weeks ago. She’ll see photos of my family on Halloween and compliment the costumes I helped make. Noah and Eric are both going as wizards. We made the costumes out of thrift-store-acquired black graduation gowns, sticks, felt (Noah really wanted a long beard), construction paper, and copious safety pins. As far as I’m concerned, if it doesn’t involve shit-tons of visible safety pins, it’s not a Halloween costume.
As for myself, the idea of designing a cold-weather-friendly, breastfeeding-friendly costume when I hardly even own clothes that fit me … well, that sounded unduly stressful. I was going to stick a tiara on my head and go as ‘me wearing a tiara and a baby’ (or perhaps ‘ensuring the royal succession’–get it? huh?), but then I forgot and couldn’t get the tiara attached to my shortish hair on the way out the door for our weekend Halloween outing, so oh well, I was just me. Last year at this time I was so, so sick; this year, I’m constantly relieved not to be nauseated. Happy Halloween to me!
What are you and yours ‘being’ for Halloween this year?