Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Debrief

Okay, I have always had mixed feelings about Halloween. I am no good at pretending, and was chronically uncreative when it came to costumes as a child (except for that one superb year when Mom sewed beautiful costumes for my brother and me and we went as the Phantom of the Opera and Christine Daae). I'm not at all into the ghoulish, undead, or excessively creepy. I get annoyed when the neighbor's styrofoam gravestones (which have been in place since September) get blown into my yard. I get really annoyed when parents tote around their sub-one-year-old child (without older siblings) to collect candy.

However, I do have many fond memories of childhood Halloweens: the annual elementary school party - the games, the treats, the line for the haunted house that stretched all the way from the gym to the fifth grade classrooms. I remember the excitement of going trick-or-treating with my dad and brother and crunching through leaves in the front yard on the way home, cold and tired and ready for a warm bowl of chili. I love the celebration of autumn, and I love that it is one holiday that does not involve travel, gifts, deeper significance, or political correctness.

With that in mind, this year I was actually quite excited that Amy wanted to dress up. I gamely tried to honor her very specific request to become "A Beautiful Fox Named Maid Marian" - from Disney's Robin Hood of course, where Robin Hood and Maid Marian are both foxes. (Incidentally, I'm thrilled that my daughter's favorite "Disney Princess" is the furry, demure one with the long sleeves.)

So after a false start, and more than a few trips to the fabric store, and several hours (though not as many as I thought) of careful sewing I successfully crafted MM's dress, and in a frantic half-hour I cobbled together ears and a tail out of orange felt. As always, my favorite project is the one that is finished, but what made the completion of this one worthwhile was that Amy did indeed consent to wear the whole getup at the Station's Halloween Party. Her two previous Halloweens had seen hysterical fits when I tried to wrangle her into a costume for a photo op, so I had reason to fear costume rejection.

Poor girl did have to explain herself, as Robin Hood isn't exactly in the public knowledge these days. Someone guessed "Dinosaur Princess" and I almost got violent. The ears are a little crazy, but overall I think we got it about right, and most importantly, she was pleased as punch.

William very amiably wore his (purchased) dinosaur costume and looked cute as can be. I originally had big plans to dress him up as Robin Hood, but I correctly guessed that there wasn't going to be enough time to pull that off.

And I am so glad we had this party to go to on Friday because after talking about trick-or-treating all month, Amy decided that she did not want to go out tonight after all. A "who's on first" -style conversation earlier in the day revealed that her idea of trick-or-treating involved children coming to our door and giving her candy. Once I told her that she'd have to walk up to other people's doors she bowed out of the whole thing. Fine by me, as 6pm is the witching hour around here anyway and I really just wanted to get dinner eaten and everyone in bed on schedule.

So now the kids are fast asleep, the lights are out, and I have an enormous bowl of unclaimed candy to eat myself, I mean, um, send with Don to work. I think I can put this Halloween in the "win" column. Hope yours was fun, too!

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