Halloween is two days away, and I can feel the spooky excitement in the air. I’m not sure why Halloween has always been something I look forward to but it has. Since both my sister and I have birthdays in October, our birthday celebrations were often costume parties. Because of that, we always spent a lot of time deciding and creating our Halloween costumes each year. Then on the evening of Halloween, my family of four would paint the small town where I grew up. We would get home late, dump our loot in the floor to sort and trade for at least an hour before we fell into bed entirely too late for little girls.
When I became a mom, I continued making Halloween a big deal. I couldn’t wait to dress baby Brooks in his monkey costume. It seems like a lifetime ago that I stuffed his little chunky baby body in that furry suit, met my parents and friends for dinner then walked around and trick-or-treated. It’s not like he could eat candy at nine months old but we still spent two hours trick-or-treating with a group of friends.
A tradition in the early years of motherhood was driving 30 minutes to my hometown and first stopping at my parents house where they could spend some solid time oohing and aahing over one or both boys in their costumes. My parents would make a special treat bag just for them. We would then meet some friends for dinner and hit the streets with open treat bags, knocking on the same doors as I did when I was a little girl.
After three years trick-or-treating with little Brooks, I had little brother Case. I found another cute furry costume. Both boys were nine months old during their first Halloween so my main goal was to keep them warm yet also happy so they weren’t screaming in all the pictures. These soft animal costumes worked out perfectly. Here’s my little tiger.
Later, once we settled into a new town, my parents would drive out to my house and spend Halloween evening in our neck of the woods. This allowed the boys to trick-or-treat with their friends and stay close to home so bedtime didn’t happen too, too late. The photo below is at Treats on the Street, something my town does each Halloween on Main Street. My mom looks so happy and healthy. I love seeing that smile on her face. Wasn’t she beautiful?
Before my mom passed away, she and my dad joined us for every Halloween. Sometimes my dad had to work, but my mom was always there. All holidays were very special to her and Halloween was no different. I won’t lie. The past two Halloweens have certainly not been the same without her but the boys are kids and they still get super excited about dressing up and trick-or-treating, so I find the energy and excitement to go along with them. My dad has worked hard to continue the tradition and join us for Halloween. All of our hearts are broken but we’re thankful to still have one another and to live close enough that we can be tougher on birthdays and holidays.
This year my dad is spending Halloween with my sister and her family. My three-year old niece loves, loves her Papa Bill. It makes my heart happy to know my dad will be there with her. I also know for a fact if my mom was still here, she would be going with him. Nothing was as important to her as family.
I hope you have some fun plans this Halloween. Be safe, have fun and take a lot of pictures because one day, when a photo is all you have to remember and savor a moment, you will be so very grateful.