Halloween has come and gone. Thankfully. I’ve never been a big fan. Even as a child it was a pretty disappointing holiday. I grew up in a really rural area in Western Pennsylvania. We literally lived in the middle of nowhere. Our neighbors were half a mile or more away, depending on the direction you traveled. Add to this disappointment the fact that it was always bone chilling cold and Halloween was pretty much a bust.
Halloween was more celebratory when my daughter was a child. We lived in a neighborhood with families and children, so she always had a great time. Fast-forward twenty-five years to Halloween 2009 and I would have told you I expected more of the same with munchkin given our neighborhood. Notice I said, “I would have told you,” not “I can tell you.” That’s because it didn’t work out that way. From Jackson’s very first Halloween he has fought any and every part of this cursed holiday.
Jackson has never accepted any type of costume—no matter how unobtrusive. From checkered shirts and jeans (cowboy) to tank tops, shorts and sneakers (basketball player), Jackson has hated costumes. Every bit of it is overload for him. Too much chaos. Too many people. Too much noise. Too many folks in his face grilling him as to why he isn’t participating in this silly, nonsensical event. And let’s not forget he’s an extremely literal child. The boy honestly thinks a person is permanently transformed when they put on any type of mask, makeup, prosthetic or outfit.
Until this year, the costume parades at school have yielded no better results. The year before last the poor child was traumatized and clung to me while screaming at the top of his lungs. Everything about Halloween is simply too much for him and by virtue of this, it’s too much for me too.
This year I came up with the idea of Jackson being Curious George and I would be The Man with the Yellow Hat. Jackson thought this would be a great idea. (He said it would be easy because he’s already brown.) Of course he had very specific parameters for what would constitute his costume—short sleeves and shorts (w/no zippers or buttons). That’s it. That’s what was allowed. It worked out perfectly. I happened to have a brown knit tee and shorts that had been passed on to us from friends and added some construction paper monkey ears to one of my headbands. Voila! Curious George. I was equally as lucky in pulling together my The Man with the Yellow Hat Costume. We were a hit for the Characters in Literature Parade at Jackson’s school. (Sounds so much better than Halloween Parade, don’t you think?)
Jackson had no desire to don his costume a second time to participate in the trick-or-treat aspect of Halloween. Which is more than fine by me. The child has never had a single, solitary piece of candy. His choice. So sitting out the door-to-door process is of absolutely no consequence to him whatsoever.
People appear to be utterly shocked when they ask how Jackson liked trick-or-treating. And I feel like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas when I tell people I don’t like Halloween. How about you? Is there anyone else out there whose kiddos don’t enjoy “All Hallows Even?”