When I was a kid, Halloween was one day. These days, it seems to practically be a weeklong event. I'm sure all of these parades and parties and activities have come about over time as a way to make celebrating and trick-or-treating safer, right? (Parents with air-breathing kids welcome to weigh in on this).
I went to my prenatal swim class last night at the YMCA. The place was positively overrun with families in full costume, walls thick with decorations. I threaded my way past all the goblins and fairies and downstairs to the pool, where our teacher was waiting, fully-dressed, to teach class from dry land, since her two kids would be arriving exactly at the end of class, in Diego and Dora costumes, to participate in the party and parade.
Today at the Farmers' Market, all the kids were in costume, playing toss the beanbag into the jack-o-lantern's mouth. Several Dorothys were involved, at least one Spiderman, and one Superman. But the one that took our breath away was the toddler in the softest, furriest, full-coverage, home-sewn Wookie costume. Only his little round pink face was sticking out. He had a felt tool belt, and was riding happily on his dad's shoulders. Scott and I both stared in awe. The mom laughed and said, "Just wait till next year!"
It took me a minute to realize what she was talking about. My big belly. Of course. Next year, we could be schlepping our own Wookie to the market!
Except that one of us has to learn how to sew...
Today might also be the parade along the retail blocks near our house, where merchants give candy to kids in costume. And there was some kind of festival gearing up at the local preschool this morning when we drove by. One mom was getting out of her station wagon with a big basket of grapes, daughter carried similar bowl of strawberries. Alternative treats.
There will be actual trick-or-treating in our neighborhood on the actual night, but not so much on our block, since we're up a big hill, and most of the houses have tons of stairs. Kids tend to stay in the flats, we've noticed, unless a house up here is particularly invitingly decorated.
We'll be taking a pass on the holiday this year, since we'll be dedicated to celebrating it every year after from here on out.