Babies don't have many skills, but they are the absolute best at looking adorable in just about any Halloween costume you can think of.
During the toddler years, they compliantly let us stick off-kilter antennae on their curly heads and fuzzy tails on their chubby bottoms and tote them to play dates and pumpkin patches.
At some point, they begin to have an opinion on what they want to be for the big evening of trick-or-treating. My daughter, for example, decided at seven that she wanted to be a scary pirate. Of course, I made the fatal mistake of telling her, after she donned her tunic and rakish hat and golden hook hand, that she was the cutest pirate ever. The next year she insisted on being a vampire with real fake blood.
Cutest vampire ever.
We lived on the border of one of those crazy Halloween neighborhoods, where the streets swarm with families and the house that gives out regular sized candy bars has a line down the block. Our own block was tamer, but every year we put our skeleton, Mr. Bones, outside on the lawn to greet passers-by, and we haunted the entryway with a fog machine and strings of ghosts and spiders. We'd order pizza and friends would come by to fortify themselves with a glass of wine before we trooped out as a group into the night.
Then we moved to a house with all kinds of benefits but with a notable lack of passers-by. My son decided he was far too old to dress up, and my daughter made plans that did not include us. All at once, Halloween didn't seem to be something we did anymore.
Before we had kids, I was never a Halloween person. Now I miss it like crazy*. Is it wrong that I still take Mr. Bones** out of the garage every year? That I unwrap the spiders that used to hang in the entryway and drape them over the lights in the kitchen? I don't think so.
I love the memories they bring back. And I don't think I'm the only one***.
Even if I am alone on that point, let's be honest. The other really good thing about Halloween is that all the candy on earth is on sale, so I can bake it up into the delectable cookies in this week's special Halloween Box! These were a hit with my son in his Halloween care package last year. He liked the candy better, but said the cookies were "surprisingly good considering they had oatmeal in them."
High praise from the dollar sign sunglasses guy.
* Except for getting the insides of the pumpkin out. That part was disgusting and I'll be glad to never do that again in my life.
** This is Mr. Bones II. The first Mr. Bones was stolen from our front yard one Halloween night, which we are still angry about.
*** Please tell me I'm not the only one. That would be sad.