Halloween plays a big part of my childhood memories. I loved picking out my outfit. Traveling house to house with my brothers and trading candy after. My childhood neighborhood practically went into block party mode over Halloween with our neighborhood cop decking out his house into a haunted house, and kids packing every square inch of walkable space in costumes more creative than the next. As with most pleasant childhood experiences, I want the same for my son.
Waleed was a monkey his first Halloween. We didn’t trick or treat as the lack of teeth would have disproved any assertions that any candy collected was in fact for him.
|Was meant to be a costume, but the monkey-ness never really went away.|
The second Halloween, we just sold our house, and were bone-tired from unpacking and settling into our stamp-sized condo. So we strolled the streets, watched other trick-or-treaters in the vibrant little hippy neighborhood we lived in and called it a day. So this year? It was the first where we’d dress him up and take him out and about to mingle with the other kids and collect candy
for us for the sheer fun of it. We picked Superman:
Which was a little silly because as much as he thought it was a cool outfit, he didn’t know who superman was. Luckily, this was easily solved thanks to the power of youtube and visual demonstrations.
After which, he became quite the pro.
Almost too much of a pro.
He loved dressing up so much so we spent the entire day from shopping for warm clothes for his baby brother to a bookstore stop-over, completely in costume.
|Even superman needs down time. And crocs.|
We had made plans with friends a few weeks back that fell through but with a toddler for whom the sheer acting of waking up is a joy, it was easy to get over the disappointment. I heard rumors that Publix got into the Halloween spirit and was thrilled on our last minute run to buy some candy [for trick-or-treaters that never came since 98% of our neighborhood is retired] where we found the whole store in the Halloween spirit from the bakery to the deli guy handing out chocolate candies. Waleed even got to ice his own cookie. This giving away of candies and icing of cookies? Blew. His. Mind.
As we made our way around the store he chanced upon some fruit. I paused to see if my lessons on the joys of fruit would stick.
Clearly, tempting. . .
but ultimately, a pass.
It wasn’t a huge factor in house-buying but I can’t lie that I didn’t feel a little bit sad when we bought our house that as one of two kids in the neighborhood, he wouldn’t have the vibrant Halloween of my childhood memories. We solved this by going to our neighboring neighborhood teeming with kids and fun Halloween home decorations [and Obama signs! In a sea of Romney signs littering every single doorstep where we live we felt a bit disconcerted by the diversity just one street over] but not before we stopped at our favorite neighbors in the cul-de-sac who bought candy knowing we just might stop by. He was too shy to say trick-or-treat [though not shy enough to grab a handful of chocolates from their bucket. Good boy.] and they oohed and awed, invited us in, and gave him so much love it made me feel full of goodness and warmth on this chilly, windy, night. Sometimes I wish I could transport my son to some of my favorite childhood moments like Halloween but sometimes like today as we enjoyed a simpler moment, I remember yet again that its not about sparkly pumpkins or bigger and badder decorations, but its about us taking in his fleeting childhood and cherishing it. It’s about the handful of kind and incredibly sweet neighbors and the fact that they care. It’s about appreciating the beauty of what we do have rather than what we don’t. Waleed will have different childhood memories from mine but kindness is kindness and warmth is warmth and appreciated wherever one is lucky enough to find it.
|Waleed’s first trick or treat|
Happy Halloween. It wasn’t the Halloween of my childhood but it was the Halloween of his and I will treasure it always. What did you and/or your little one dress up as? Any fun Halloween traditions? Hope you had a great one!