Halloween is my favorite time of year.
It’s costumes, and theater, and dessert – all foil-wrapped into one glorious, gluttonous holiday.
Nevertheless, I seem to be making the same 3 mistakes over and over.
I’m noting them here (in chronological order), so perhaps I’ll know better for next year.
Relax About the Costume Already.
Colt said he wanted to be a green army man.
So I went all Pinterest-happy trying to create the most impressive homemade costume ever.
I spent hours Googling “how to get an authentic plastic sheen” and “how to turn your average water gun into a realistic-looking-Toy-Story-appropriate-rifle.”
Hours of my life I can’t get back.
I spent $20 in green Duck tape.
I took ten years off my husband’s lungs with too much green spray paint.
I made Colt practice army man poses for photos.
Then he decided he didn’t want to be a green army man. He wanted to be a cowboy.
Then a chef.
Then a police man.
Then a pirate because his friend Charlotte was going to be a pirate.
Fine. I’m cool. I’m flexible.
Be a pirate.
I quickly cut the bottoms off some old jeans and found a skull T-shirt in his dresser. He already had a pirate hat, bandana, and 20 toy swords, so it worked out.
Shortly before we left the house he decided he wanted to be a ninja.
That’s when I lost my sh&t.
“You WILL be a pirate,” I said through clenched teeth. And you will LIKE it!!!!!!!!!!!” I shouted.
Now, let’s go get some candy.
No batons, or swords, or magic wands, or fire hoses, or handcuffs, or spatulas, or earrings, or big ears, or beads, or neckties, or sun glasses, or vests, or helmets, or straw hats, or removable head pieces of any kind, or gloves, or batons, or paint brushes, or crowns or bloody appendages.
Unless you, the parent, want to carry them for THE ENTIRE TIME.
Colt made it to four houses. FOUR.
Before Todd was carrying his pirate hat, and I was holding his sword.
Which meant he went to the other 25 houses in a skull T-shirt and a do-rag.
(In his 6th costume, Colt is a gang member. Tampa EAST SIDE!)
Next year, mark my words, he’ll wear a costume that’s all one giant piece.
Like a tube of toothpaste.
Avoid the Houses with the Weirdos.
There’s this one particular house in our neighborhood where the owner sits in his drive way every year in a white lab coat and a mask that would make M. Night Shyamalan sh&t his pants.
He doesn’t speak.
He just sits in his folding chair handing out candy with razor blades and picking out children to cut up and boil.
I should have known to skip his house this year.
But no, I went back and brought our friends to boot!
Now my friends’ daughter has PTSD, and Colt keeps asking me, “But Mommy, what was that scary man supposed to be?”
I have a hard enough time explaining how rainbows are formed. But serial killers?
I also need to remember to bring water. A wagon. And wine… in a thermos.
Most of all, I need to remember to enjoy the moment. I know there aren’t many more years of this door-to-door fun.
Before I know it, Colt will be 13 and too cool for trick-or-treating.
Or he’ll want to go around without a costume as hoodlum teenagers like to do (which will be allowed over my DEAD BODY.)
Next year I vow to let him be whatever he wants to be (as long as there are no moving parts or removable appendages.)
And I vow to not worry about making it amazing or intricate or impressive. It’s not about me.
I also vow to avoid the wack-job neighbor, and take more pictures and give more kisses along the way.
Halloween 2016 I’m ready for you, you spooky beast!