Halloween has snuck up on us this year. The dust is just starting to settle from our move, and we’re feeling at home in our new city, but we’ve got a lot going on. The day-to-day routines (and mania… a fun mania, but mania nonetheless) have all but usurped the seasonal rhythms that normally mark the year’s advance. Plus, the warm climate has meant that my usual cues as to what holiday’s approaching are off; it’s been upwards of ninety degrees this week-- not the crisp fall days of my bygone New Hampshire and New York City autumns (let me assure you, I may be semi-wistful for fall, but I will not miss northern winters. Not one bit). Today, however, brought a crisp, cool morning, turned comfortably warm and breezy, and then returned to crisp again with the setting sun. We had tilapia tacos from our favorite taco truck for dinner, sitting with a fire pit to one side of our table and a creek to the other. The girl who served up our chocolate concoctions for dessert (from another amazing food truck— Austin’s brimming with this stuff), was wearing thigh-high stockings, and had fake blood on her face. Which reminded me— ‘Oh, right, it’s Halloween weekend!’
Our extended family members are already asking what we’re doing about Thanksgiving and Christmas (and have been for months and months). Having a baby ramps that up about ten notches, and it’s lovely to feel so wanted. Halloween isn’t one of those holidays, though. Our tradition has previously been to go to an annual party at our friends’ loft in Brooklyn, dressed according to its chosen theme, and then eat, drink and dance the night away; I was just beginning to look and feel VERY pregnant for last year’s bash, but still tore up the dance floor like nobody’s business! Prior to those years—i.e., back in college—Halloween marked a distinct occasion to out-slut one’s friends (in costume, not necessarily in practice), and party. And some time before that, Halloween was for preparing a costume for weeks in advance, trick-or-treating up and down the neighborhood, and then scarfing and trading candy until we all passed out from the sugar crash.
Last year, in the afternoon before the big dance party, we drove through Queens on an errand, and I gazed through the window at all of the very little, early-bird trick-or-treaters out with their parents, tripping over their costumes and posing for pictures as they made their way, door-to-door, down the street. I remember thinking, “This is going to be us next year.” And now that year has come. It’s Kaspar’s turn!
So, he has this little monkey costume that I’ve dressed him in multiple times, and that he loves because it makes me squeal, and squeeze him. I haven’t been keeping due track of when Halloween actually is though, because as cute as Kaspar looks as a monkey, he can’t walk yet, and thus seems a little small for earnest trick-or-treating (I should divulge that my judgment on this is somewhat clouded by memories of my own parents begrudgingly doling out candy, and the stink-eye, to moms collecting for their babies who clearly had no use for Milk Duds). I hadn’t thought, until tonight, about what we will do to mark the occasion.
Turns out Aaron’s been quietly on top of it, though; he brought a pumpkin home early this week, along with a board book about Jack-o’-Lanterns. Seeing the thigh-highs and the fake blood this evening, and being thus reminded that Halloween is in fact coming up on Sunday, I suddenly felt that trick-or-treating (or some modified form of the sport) has to happen. One quick text message later, and we have plans to attend a neighborhood potluck with friends, followed by—yep!-- trick-or-treating. I don’t think we’ll take any candy—we’ll probably just tool around with the stroller for a few minutes— but our little monkey is going to get to see what this holiday is all about. Having just noticed what time of year it is, and what holiday’s approaching, I’m so excited to embrace this fantastic new phase of our lives, and the fun new discoveries, and rediscoveries, it brings with it. The first year of parenthood is awesome! And so is pumpkin carving, which we’re doing in the morning.
How do you/did you celebrate your kids’ first Halloween? Do you think eight months old is too young for trick-or-treating? What are your plans this year? What’s everybody dressing as? Do you have any great traditions that your family enjoys? I can’t wait to hear what you’re up to. Have fun, and be safe (I get to say that… because I’m a mom).