Tag Archives: trick-or-treating

All Hallows Eve…The End is Near

I’ve been informed it’s over—my brood’s love of trick-or-treating, that is. I knew it would happen eventually. I just wasn’t expecting it now, seemingly minutes before Halloween. It’s possible I’ll need weeks of therapy to cope with such tragic news. Please send candy.

I guess I was kidding myself to think my kids’ enthusiasm for harvesting gobs of chocolate and fistfuls of candy corn would last forever. I probably missed some important signs last October when they disguised themselves to the hilt, but dragged their feet when it came to traipsing over the neighborhood, treat bags in hand. Admittedly, I pushed it out of my mind.

Denial, as it were.

As the stages of grief are classically defined, I haven’t progressed much. I still reject the idea that the fun is over, defending that “…even adults like to dress up in ridiculous outfits and solicit candy. Who wouldn’t?”

Needless to say, I was enlightened as to how “done with that” they were.

“We just want to stay home, answer the door and scare little kids to death.”

Egads. I wasn’t prepared for that response. I just want to hold on to the past a little longer. I liked it when my twin daughters were babies—mostly. They were pumpkins their first Halloween, kittens their second, and burly lumberjacks their third year. I remember dotting their cheeks with dark eyeliner, giving their faces the suggestion of stubble. Good times.

For the first several years, my husband and I lugged them around the neighborhood in their red wagon, using blankets to prop them up and cushion the bumpy ride. Hats and mittens were a must, cleverly incorporated into the ensemble. At each house we visited, friends would crowd around to see how adorable our children looked, each year’s costume topping the last.

As they grew older they were able to walk with us, tightly gripping our hands and clutching their coveted treat bag. Each year we journeyed further, eventually canvassing the entire neighborhood in one night—which was no small feat.

More recently, they’ve met up with friends on All Hallows Eve, eager to wander the streets of our close-knit community, a herd of mask-toting teens and tweens in the dark of night, some carrying flashlights, some entirely too cool to carry a flashlight, their raucous laughter filling the autumn air. By evening’s end, they return home, sweaty and spent, usually hauling their costumes—either because they were too hot or they broke along the way. Treat bags bursting with candy. Smiles all around.

This year will be different. No more ambling from house to house. No more bags of loot to dump on the floor. No more little red wagon or mittens. At least they’ll still wear costumes, however. So there’s that. I guess I’ll have to embrace a new and different Halloween tradition—scary as that might be.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live, lamenting the end of All Hallows Eve. Visit me there at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom.

Copyright 2015 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under "N" is for Nostalgia, Growing Pains, motherhood

All Hallows Eve…The End is Near

DSCN0432I’ve been informed it’s over—my brood’s love affair with trick-or-treating, that is. I knew it would happen eventually. I just wasn’t expecting it to happen now, seemingly minutes before Halloween. It’s possible I’ll need weeks of therapy in order to cope with such tragic news. Please send candy.

I guess I was kidding myself to think my kids’ enthusiasm for harvesting gobs of chocolate and fistfuls of candy corn would last forever. And I probably missed some important signs last October when my progeniesIMG_6676 disguised themselves to the nth degree (one wore a disturbingly realistic horsehead mask while the other donned a ginormous set of bat wings), but then sort of dragged their feet when it came to traipsing all over the neighborhood, treat bags in hand. At the time, I simply pushed it out of my mind. Denial, as it were.

As the stages of grief are classically defined, I suppose I haven’t progressed much since then. I still reject the idea that the fun is over, defending the fact that “…even adults like to dress up in ridiculous outfits and solicit candy. Who wouldn’t?”

Almost immediately, I learned how incredibly stupid that question was. In no uncertain terms, I was enlightened as to how “completely done with that” they were.

“We just want to stay home, answer the door and scare little kids to death.”

Egads. I wasn’t prepared for that sort of response. I guess I just want to hold on to the past, or maybe even live it a little longer if possible. I liked it when my twin daughters were just babies—most of the time anyway. They were pumpkins their first Halloween, kittens their second, and burly lumberjacks their third year I think. I remember dotting their cheeks with dark eyeliner, giving their faces the suggestion of stubble. I also fondly recall piling warm layers of clothing beneath red and black-checkered jackets to complete the look.

For the first several years, my husband and I lugged them around the neighborhood in their red Radio Flyer wagon, using blankets and coats to prop them up and cushion the bumpy ride. Hats and mittens were a must, cleverly incorporated into the ensemble. At each house we visited, friends would crowd around the door to see how adorable our children looked, each year’s costume topping the last.IMG_9862

As they grew older they were able to walk with us, tightly gripping one of our hands while clutching their coveted treat bag with the other. Each year we journeyed further and further away from home, eventually canvassing the entire neighborhood in one night—which was no small feat.

More recently, they’ve met up with their friends on All Hallows Eve, eager to wander the streets of our close-knit community, a smallish herd of mask-toting teens and tweens in the dark of night, some carrying flashlights, some entirely too cool to carry a flashlight, their raucous laughter filling the autumn air. By evening’s end, they would return home, sweaty and utterly spent, usually hauling all or part of their costumes—either because they were too hot or they broke somewhere along the way. Treat bags bursting with candy. Smiles all around.

But this year will be different. No more ambling from house to house. No more bags of loot to dump on the kitchen floor to better sort and ogle. No more little red wagon or mittens. At least my kids have assured me there will still be the wearing of costumes, however. So there’s that. I guess I’ll just have to accept reality and embrace a new and different Halloween tradition—as scary as that might be.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live lamenting the end of All Hallows Eve (sort of). Visit me there at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom.

Copyright 2015 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under "N" is for Nostalgia, Growing Pains, The Natives are Decidedly Restless

The Unsung Heroes of Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching, an event that thrills me beyond all compare. Always has. Maybe it’s the candy corn spilling from caldron-like bowls and the tiny bat-shaped pretzels that woo me each October, though I find the former sickeningly sweet and the latter far too endearing to consume. Perhaps it’s the ubiquitous nature of pumpkins, the deranged sort of joy I derive from carving them or my curious obsession with corn mazes that makes the holiday so completely wonderful. Or maybe it’s simply because it qualifies as one of the few times I win popularity with my brood—by, of course, encouraging them to play with knives and to saturate every molecule of their being with pumpkin gloppage in so doing.

At any rate, I greatly enjoy Halloween, especially its huddled masses of trick-or-treaters come nightfall, the ones who traipse around my neighborhood in packs wearing a hodgepodge of disguises, embracing all that is truly terrifying, indescribably bizarre or exceedingly hilarious. And the dogs. Oh, how I adore the dressed-up dogs and the whole let’s-turn-our-Chihuahua-into-a-tiny-pirate craze. Never mind how inherently disturbing that may be. But I digress. It’s the innovative costumes that truly wow me—the works of pure genius cobbled together with found objects, discarded cardboard and gobs upon gobs of creativity. Duct tape, too, on occasion.

Case in point: The large and decidedly hideous “pile of poo” I once witnessed at a Halloween party (i.e. a mocha-hued shell of dung-inspired horror, expertly fashioned from an abundance of papier mâché and delicately infused with real kernels of corn, worn by a man who appeared to be surrounded by a cluster of flies that seemingly hung in the air and followed him as he moved from place to place). I kid you not. It was priceless and I cannot begin to imagine how much time and effort it had taken to create such a masterpiece. To top it off, the aforementioned gentleman was flanked by his toddler, aka “Little Shit,” who was similarly outfitted and equally comical. If nothing else, it was memorable and demonstrated, yet again, the ingenuity that Halloween can, indeed, inspire.

Likewise, I cannot erase from my mind the “human microwave” I encountered some time ago—a two-legged, cardboard-esque creature with a cleverly concealed treat bowl buried deep within its cavernous “belly,” one that was situated behind a makeshift door that conveniently opened and closed for easy access.  It was a positively ingenious contrivance, and the brainchild of a boy who would go on to study engineering. I certainly hope he includes achievements such as this (read: thinking outside the box) on his résumé in the future (even though, technically speaking, he was inside a box). I know I would.

That said, I’ll be equally entertained by a comparable level of brilliance this year when and if someone crafts (and actually wears!) a giant 3-ring binder—of Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” fame, a topic that trended on Twitter for quite some time following the second presidential debate. More specifically, I’ve pictured a crop of mannequin-like legs wearing fishnet stockings and stilettos, spilling from an oversized loose-leaf binder, reminiscent of the candidate’s recent gaffe. I can only hope to stumble upon such foolishness on Halloween—with camera in hand.

It’s likely I’ll be snapping pictures of my kids that night as well—to celebrate the fact that they will have finally settled upon costumes. Oh. My. Hell. To say that our recent excursion to a certain Halloween-themed establishment was a grueling affair cannot be overstated. Nor can its interminable nature. In sum, after combing the aisles for schlock we apparently had to have, we spent roughly three days ogling rubber masks. Of course, we tried on 4,387 of them. Then there was the matter of finding a mirror, so that said masks could be admired and subsequently placed in the KEEP, DITCH or MAYBE pile. In so doing, we effectively blocked the path of multitudes of patrons (i.e. perfectly normal people who weren’t incapacitated by the urge to try on every cussed mask).

Likewise, each and every wig, helmet and/or machete-like device (including the one that sounded like the stabbing scene from Psycho), had to be thoroughly examined and evaluated. Joy.

If only I could interest my charges in actually making a costume from the mountains of schlock we currently own, harvesting untold volumes from our garage and closets, I’d be getting somewhere. Oh well. Even still, I love Halloween.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (looking forward to stumbling into trick-or-treaters who think outside the box). Visit me there at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom.

Copyright 2012 Melinda L. Wentzel

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