I didn’t really get to celebrate Halloween as a kid. I only remember 2 years where I got dressed up and that was only to hang out in our cul de sac drinking hot chocolate and lighting fireworks with the neighbours. Not to go trick or treating. Never to go trick or treating!
I don’t know if it was the razor blades in the apples scare or the religious take of not participating in such an event but we weren’t allowed. Which naturally meant as a grown-up now, I was going to do the exact opposite with my children.
For the first few years of having little ones I sewed many a costume! There was elmo, which each child wore when they were two, Tigger and Eeyore, Buzz Lightyear and Woody. There were transformers and lions and Darth Vaders and Anakins. I loved Halloween for really one reason. It was the only night of the year when the entire neighbourhood was out and about greeting one another, smiling at each others children and chit chatting in passing on the sidewalk.
Then a certain little boy changed all that. Our certain little boy who feels things incredibly deeply. Our boy with an imagination that I’ve never quite figured out because its so far beyond mine. The boy who, although he knows its not really possible, feels like the Cat in the Hat could pop out of a closet at any given moment! This boy changed all of that.
“Halloween is creepy and scary and I know it’s not real but the things I see stay in my mind, Mommy.” So I started looking around with that in mind. How would I feel if the things I see around town were what popped into my head and stuck there as I lay in bed at night? The decorations at Winners? Terrifying. The skulls placed with care on the front porches around town? Enough to send shivers down my spine.
I was met with much advice from people around. Everything from, “oh, he’ll get use to it.” to “just show him more of it and he’ll see there’s nothing to be afraid of!”
But I couldn’t help but wonder why I would want to show my little boy tombstones with spiders crawling on them and hands coming out of the ground or masks with hollow eyes and blood stains. I’ve taught him from very early on that we are to fix our gaze on things that are lovely, pure, holy. Why would I want to convince him to like Halloween?
So we just don’t do Halloween anymore. Not because we’re opposed to it. But because for us, for him, its just not right, right now.
What did you do for Halloween? Do you celebrate? Dress up? Eat enough candy to make you consider bulimia?