Halloween has always been my favorite time of year.
Dreaming up costumes at home. I don't think we ever had a store-bought costume. Mom? Help me out on this? I dressed up as the wicked witch of the west every year until probably 3rd grade. Every. Year. Starting October 1, I have memories of dressing as a witch on our daily afternoon walks as a little girl. I was under the age of 5. Green face make-up, black witches hat. Long black fake fingernails. As we took our walks, I remember making faces on the bridge over I495. People driving to work, and here's this little kid trying to scare them. They flashed their headlights, and sometimes they beeped their horns. My mother, god bless her, completely indulged me with the dressing up. It's possible that my little brother was 1.5 at the time and she was just happy I was occupied and happy. Nevertheless, I loved being that witch. I loved dressing up as something scary.
Carving pumpkins. I absolutely love the smell of a freshly carved pumpkin. It brings all the feels. I love sinking my hands into the pulp and seeds. It was so fun watching my parents make these scary faces in these fall vegetables. Roasted pumpkin seeds remain one of my favorite snacks, and I only get them once a year.
We never trick-or-treated with friends. It was always my brother and I. I'd say that overall, we got along as kids. Of course we were siblings, so we fought frequently. I was older and didn't want my kid brother tagging along all the time. He just wanted to hang with with the big kids. Going trick-or-treating was a moment that we were totally getting along. I remember us getting dressed up. I remember being annoyed (when I was older) that my parents made me dress in winter clothes under my costume. (New Hampshire is cold, friends.) After we got home, my brother and I would do a candy trade. I'd inevitably get in trouble for trying to arrange bullshit deals. (I'll trade you two Mike&Ike licorice for two Snickers!) My parents made us combine our candy after a couple of days. I remember one Halloween it snowed. We always thought we saw real witches flying across the sky, and every sound was a werewolf. Mom and Dad totally played into this.
My brother and I like to play in the "woods" next to our house. I'm using the word "woods" lightly. It was, like, 20 feet of trees before the road. But we had these big rocks and lots of imagining going on. Mom, once again being a good sport, would play this cassette tape of spooky haunted house noises starting October 1. Playtime is always better with a soundtrack.
I still love the smell of freshly fallen leaves. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love spooky things. I've been reading spooky stuff all month. I have a spiced pumpkin scented candle burning as we speak.
Before Dominic was born, Dennis and I would light a fire in an outdoor fire pit, get pizza and wine, and sit in the driveway to greet the trick-or-treaters. Luckily, he loves Halloween too. This was so much fun!
Now that Dominic is more excited to trick-or-treat, the fun can really begin. His first year he was only 2 months old. He was a tootsie roll. We pulled the couch over to the door so I could nurse and Dennis could pass out the candy.
The next year, Dominic was a monkey. Full disclosure, he hated the hat. It was removed before we got to the house next door.
Last year, Dom was a penguin. It was pretty kickass. He walked the whole way and figured out pretty quickly that "trick-or-treat" resulted in candy from a bowl. He got several treats along the way and it was super fun.
This year he's going to be an astronaut. Full disclosure once again, he's afraid of his costume. We figured out he thinks the night will involve him actually shooting into space in a rocket. We've been trying to explain that it's just pretend, but to no avail. He's convinced he's been training for his mission these past months. And here we were thinking we were fostering his interest in the planets!
So, Halloween is awesome. We hope to make it special, just like our parents used to. I want Dominic to have fun memories of this fun time of year. Mom was fun and made the whole season magical. There were spooky things around every corner. Dominic is still young, but we're trying!