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Tomorrow is Halloween.  I’m not into blood and gore, hauntings, possessions, and hatchet murders.  I don’t do scary.  (Although I do indulge in the occasional vampire and werewolf story.)  But I do like to dress up and pretend, to see all the kids’ costumes, hand out candy, and carve pumpkins.  I enjoy watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”  I like to have fun.

My kids wore a variety of costumes through the years.  The most fun were the homemade costumes.  One year the boys decided to be King Arthur’s knights.  I cut, taped, and painted cardboard boxes until they resembled shining armor.  One year they wanted to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so I designed and sewed costumes, and made cardboard weapons for them.  They had a lot of fun, especially since they were watching the TMNT cartoons right then.  The girls preferred to be princesses, ballerinas, and fairies.  Even the dog got a costume.  Once we were assembled, we walked around the block, collected candy in their handy plastic orange pumpkins, and then went home and sorted the candy.  They were allowed a certain amount after supper each night.  Depending on each child’s personality, they either tried to make their stash last as long as possible, or they gorged on their candy and then tried to bribe the others out of some of theirs.

My most memorable Halloween was the night I gave birth to my oldest daughter.  The nurses had lots of suggestions for her name, like Samantha and Wendy, but I named her after my best friend from college.  When my daughter was little, she always thought that everyone dressed up just for her.  Later, she became frustrated by Halloween:  she preferred a different theme for her birthday parties.  But to me, she was always the best reason to celebrate Halloween.

Tomorrow I’ll be going trick-or-treating with my grandson.  He’s got a Spiderman costume, but I doubt he’ll wear the mask.  He’s too little to understand much about traditions, but we’ll have fun together.

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