Halloween is my hands-down, favorite holiday. I have no presents to purchase and no elaborate meals to execute. Pre-kids, Halloween meant outlandish costume parties with naughty costumes and ghoulishly themed cocktails, forgetting the daily routine and embracing my inner Elvira. Then my sons came.
I loved Halloween the most when my sons were babies. They gamely donned whatever costume I purchased. My oldest son’s ﬁrst Halloween, I dressed them as furry lions and handsome devils. I propped them against gigantic pumpkins for pictures. As long as the costumes weren’t too itchy or hot, the boys grinned their toothless grins and wore them while we pushed them in strollers to trick or treat. The toddler years were a crapshoot. I spent one season scouring the internet for a furry Elmo costume due to a consuming obsession with Elmo and Mr. Pickles. I dropped a crazy amount of money in a bidding war on eBay, the costume arrived the day before Halloween, and my son hated it. He yanked the Elmo hood off his oversized head and proceeded to whine through the whole (very short) evening of trick or treating. Now my sons are school age. They have their own opinions on what costume is ﬁt for the school’s Halloween parade. The costume has to be terrifying, gory, or creepy. The irony here is that the costumes they covet are inspired by shows they are years away from watching.
My older son has been a zombie three years in a row. Yet, he wouldn’t sleep for weeks if he viewed an episode of The Walking Dead. Another year he wanted to wear the mask from the movie Scream. If I even let him watch one scene of that movie, he’d be too traumatized to leave the house. Or babysit his younger brother. My other dude has based his entire costume choice on whatever weapon appeals to him at the dreaded Halloween superstore. Last year he chose to be a skeleton court jester because he had to have the staff with the matching skeleton jester head. The crowds and chaos of the Halloween store made it that much easier to give him his way. Of course his arms grew tired from hauling his pillowcase of treats, so I was forced to juggle the jester club along with an oversized zombie axe for the hundreds of blocks we cruised on Halloween night.
These are boy problems, to be sure. I should be thankful that I don’t deal with the girl issues on the opposite end of the spectrum—tiny costumes, short skirts, and trying to grow up too fast. Yet I long for those days when my preschooler boys donned Bob the Builder helmets and fuzzy Scooby Doo suits. I’m resigned to be the mother of zombies and creepers this year, minus the weapons. Or perhaps we will forgo the Halloween store all together and make this the year of homemade costumes. I’m sure I can make a mean axe out of aluminum foil.