I picture Momblogs all over the world hissing and cracking with febrile Hallowe'en posts. This is a kids' holiday like no other, and the obligations are substantial:
1. Costume for preschool costume party (simple and washable)
1.a. Class treats for same
2. Costume for trick-or-treating (preferably a weather-responsive update to preschool costume)
3. Decision about trick-or-treating: downtown or local Treat Street?
3.a. Travel for same
4. Selection and purchase of pumpkin
4.a. Decision about same: grocery store or pumpkin patch?
4.b. Travel for same
5. Carving of said pumpkin
Even Hanukkah is easier: hit Walgreen's for 8 days' worth of little gifts, pick up a package of odd-sized candles, and yer done. Shalom.
But Hallowe'en is a lot of parental work, and I am sometimes tempted to declare the whole holiday Satanic and just forbid the kids to participate, like my parents did. (As a parent myself, I now wonder if that was a totally religious decision, or did they just perhaps get the tiniest bit tired of dealing with the whole shebang?)
But, that rant ranted, I enjoy the ramp-up to Hallowe'en, and I particularly enjoy making the costume. My parents made our costumes before Hallowe'en went Satanic, and I remember with great joy the painting of cardboard boxes for a robot, stretching fabric over chicken wire for an ice cream cone, and selecting princess dresses for the obvious. He'en also is highly tolerant of Mommy's dress-up fixation. So, when it came time to start dressing my child for Hallowe'en, I was On It.
The first year, she was a tiny buffalo complete with a faux-fur hood and hump, felt hooves, and little felt horns. The next year, I made a frog costume with a yellow felt tummy and glitter-glue spots. (That year, we hastily trick-or-treated in an unfamiliar town due to a surgery in the family and the costume didn't really get good air time).
Last year, she expressed preference for a Pink Cat costume. I found a pair of plus-size pink fuzzy leopard print pajamas (I know, right?!) and sewed a tunic out of them. Added black tights and eyeliner whiskers: win-win. She helped a little and has joyfully worn the Pink Cat for dress-up all year.
This year, we flirted with Princess, briefly discussed a couple others, and then He'en announced "Oh! I KNOW, Mom! I want to be a . . . Reawwwy . . . scawwy . . . DWAGON! Wif' gween eyes! Yike Maweficen'!" Yes, of course, like Maleficent. I should have known.
I launched the project with great enthusiasm, recycling the barely-used Frog costume by sewing a little silver lame quilted dragon belly. There was much painting of foam and fitting of wings. The horns were duly affixed to the mask.
All was in order. A very happy He'en trotted off to yesterday's preschool party, flapping her wings and roaring all the way. She came home apparently delighted with both the costume and the whole experience. I started to think about adult dragon costumes for DH and me, which I'd vowed were Just Too Much this year and which in the last 24 hours have become the subject of crippling momguilt.
This morning, however, He'en announced her decision to trick-or-treat as the Pink Cat again this year. "I wan'," she reflected, "to safe da scawwy dwagon for somefing REAWWY spessul."
I wonder what that "something really special" would be, if not the event of her escaping a motherly strangulation on Hallowe'en morning?
But it's not worth a throw-down because Hallowe'en is for happy. And, in all honesty, it's a lot easier to whip up some adult cat costumes than some adult dragon costumes by 4:00 p.m. today.
So we looked up some cat makeup over breakfast, and that wandered us over to YouTube for some songs from Cats, and we had some fun while she ate her egg and apple. It was a serendipitously great morning.
I will therefore conclude that Hallowe'en is not Satanic, per se, but it can be sneakily devilish.