Little witches and goblins, ninjas, and vampires will soon be trekking up and down neighborhoods, ringing doorbells and hoping for a handful of goodies. As my kids debate their costume choices, with Robert changing his mind almost every other day: Spiderman! Superman! Pirate! Mummy!, and me trying to persuade him to use one of the costumes he already owns, I find myself already nostalgic for my kids' earlier Halloweens.
Katherine's first Halloween, for example, found her clutching the large mixing bowl of candy to the best of her five-month ability while propped up by my Boppy Pillow, watching me hand out candy. Her only costume was a pair of bunny ears that she kept batting off her head. Her participation in the evening was limited by her tender age, but that changed by the next year when as a mature toddler of seventeen months, she debuted as...
"Pigwet," a.k.a. Piglet! Her Piglet suit was adorable, complete with a hood and tiny pink ears. She made her rounds to all of three houses, culminating with a stop at the home of our teenage babysitter, Cara. She was excited to see Cara...until I stepped back a few paces to take their picture. At this point, "Pigwet" burst into tears, bleating desperately for "Mommy!!" Piglet was quickly ushered home, clutching her orange plastic pumpkin in one chubby fist.
The next year I dressed my little girl as a fairy. As she trip-trapped down the street holding Daddy's hand, I followed with the video camera. "Are there any boos?" her little voice quavered. We assured her that there were no "boos," just big kids dressed up in scary costumes. She again managed to get to the three houses nearest to ours and did not cry at all until...a mass of "boos" started advancing across the neighbor's yard. She dashed for home but never lost hold of that plastic pumpkin!
Age three found Katherine wearing one of Wal-Mart's finest: the Cinderella bride costume. We advanced our trick-or-treating sphere and ventured to a few more houses, or at any rate, Katherine and Daddy advanced. By then, Robert was part of the family and it was his turn to “help” me hand out candy.
By 2006 Katherine was ready to pick her own costume. In a burst of originality she chose to go as…a princess! Robert, meanwhile, had his diapered bottom stuffed into a bumblebee costume and was a cute, yet puzzled, semi-participant in the evening.
Over the next few years the kids dressed as a princess (again), an angel, a kitty, Luna Lovegood of Harry Potter fame, Superman, Batman, and a pirate. We've never won any big acclaim for originality, but it is always fun, this annual chance for assuming a new identity.
What they will choose to be this year is anyone's guess at this point. No matter what they select, I am sure to see some little ghosts mingling with them and their friends as they run from house to house. A very small Piglet will certainly be there, and a wee swaggering pirate, along with a nervous fairy and a plump bumblebee, still in his mama’s arms…
Mary Becelia lives with her husband and two children, who are growing up too quickly, in southern Stafford.