I like Halloween. I like the idea of getting to wear costumes without social sanction (really, shouldn’t that be more than once a year? I’m thinking quarterly), I like the look and feel of fall, and I like the season of family-time holidays it ushers in (Thanksgiving and Christmas). I don’t particularly like candy, true, but that’s why I have children, to dispose of any candy which might accidentally come into my possession.
Datura ended up, after several changes of mind, as Supergirl. The costume was actually pretty nice for something we picked up at Target two nights before Halloween. She got to wear it to school on Friday and all day on Saturday.
Gabriel ended up as the man of three costumes. On Friday he went to day care as a lizardman (with webbed footies even). He spent Halloween day as a cow, and trick-or-treated as a hot dog. The hot dog was everyone’s favorite, especially his. You should have seen when we found the costume at Target. He couldn’t get into it fast enough.
I didn’t dress up this year, which is a bit of a let-down. I would have dressed for campus if Halloween had been during my workweek, but obnoxiously Halloween occurs on a Saturday. (I have been known to lecture in full werewolf costume — it took a lot of practice to learn to project effectively through the mask, and to use chalk in my weirdly gloved hands, so it’s a skill I use whenever Halloween falls on a schoolday). And I would have dressed for trick-or-treating, except I was concerned that Gabriel might be troubled by his daddy looking strange. The little guy’s kind of attached to me. Next year, though, for sure.
My wife and I had clearly grown up in prime trick-or-treating locations, big neighborhoods with lots of families and people of all ages, and this was back in the day when some people actually went to the effort of setting up spooky sound effects and the like. Still, even on our little street, where there were only two little bands of trick-or-treaters, plus us, I think it will still be just as memorable for Datura as she looks back on her childhood. She was bouncing off the walls all day waiting for it, and we only stopped when she was just too exhausted to trick another treat. There is one senior couple on our street who takes decorating for each holiday to epic proportions; the woman always invites the trick-or-treaters in, takes pictures as the kids grow up, and generally makes herself the highlight of trick-or-treating. So here’s to that couple.
After trick-or-treating, we picked up some Halloween-ing supplies at VGs (which was fun in itself — Datura rode with Gabriel in one of those kiddy car-shopping cart hybrids, and showed him how to use the steering wheel, which he seemed to enjoy) and retired for the night. We mulled some cider with spices (“Halloween juice”, the secret is the splash of orange juice) and also some Burgundy Glögg (“grownup Halloween juice”). Datura ate candy until she got a stomach ache, and everybody slept well (especially the ones who had some grownup Halloween juice).
Aggravating that Halloween won’t fall on a school day again until 2011. (Aggravating, that is, if you’re the sort of professor who holds costume parties during class time.)
Hard to believe five days have already passed since this one… It’s definitely time to get to work on planning the Halloween party I want to have next year.