Parenting: Halloween through the years

October 19, 2011

My 11-year-old, Jake, declared last year that he was "too old" for Halloween and almost didn't do the school parade. I finally talked him into it, saying I didn't want to be the only parent watching the festivities whose child was still wearing jeans. So he did a silly /*Hannah Montana*/ look-alike costume and was a huge hit!

This year, now that he's in middle school and they don't get to do the Lower School parade, he's decided he misses Halloween and MUST go trick-or-treating!

I don't know whether it's a matter of wanting what you can't have, or if having twin one-year-old brothers brought out the fun spirit in him again. But no matter what, I'm glad to know we have another year of light-hearted, dress-up fun before the teenaged mood swings hit. Jake is going to be a mummy and go trick-or-treating with his best friend! Awesome.

As for my tiny tikes, they don't have a clue that it's Halloween, except for playing with the decorations that we put out. They're the same ones Jake has enjoyed since he was little...the cuddly human-sized black cat, the laughing ghost toy that shakes, the plastic and wax pumpkins that sit merrily in the kitchen, living room and family room. It's a festive time and I'm glad to see the toddlers are enjoying some aspect of it.

They were fun to dress up last year when they were just 6 months old. But this year now that they're 1 1/2 years old, they may put up a fight! They're getting harder to dress, simply because they can't be interrupted while playing with trucks, cars and stuffed animals. So whether they'll tolerate me dressing them up as a dinosaur and a dragon is yet to be seen. But it's worth a try!

After all, I have 10 years' worth of priceless pictures of Jake from ages one to 10, dressed as everything from a stuffed pumpkin, to Woody from Toy Story, to a firefighter. Each one is cuter than the last!

And now that I have 2 tiny faces smiling back at me, the pics will be adorable again!

Besides decorations and silly costumes, our Halloween traditions include fun foods at breakfast before Jake goes to school (orange-colored waffles, black and orange streamers on each child's chair, etc.), and watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on TV. The twins are too young to watch it yet, but Jake and I will make a bowl full of popcorn and cozy up for the walk down memory lane.

And this weekend we'll carve with each child's name carved in it, and a 4th one with a funny or scary face.

I hope you have some fun this year with your family...on Halloween!

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