Halloween Without the Trick-or-Treating

Halloween bit the big one this year. And considering how I feel about the spooky holiday (I love it like a third child), this was enough to put me in a mini depression that could only be lifted by bite-sized Snickers and a package of pumpkin Peeps. (Yes, I said Peeps. Don’t pollute my comment section with your disparaging Peep hate speeches. All candy has worth. Even Good & Plenty.)

It started when our brilliant Trunk or Treat Continue reading “Halloween Without the Trick-or-Treating”

Things That Make Me Go “AHHHHHHHH!”

Since it is the season of ghosts, here’s a little video for you:

Sorry. I had to. It’s Halloween law.

I love Halloween. Plain and simple. First, there’s the candy. Even adults sometimes need a special excuse to gorge themselves on fun size Butterfingers and Snickers. And there’s the dressing up. Halloween is by the far the best reason to slather on the face paint. Finally, there’s the scary movies. Though I can always enjoy a good horror flick any time of the year, pumpkin scented air somehow heightens the cathartic fear I crave.

My husband, on the other hand, hates Halloween for all the above reasons, except the candy. He will swipe a Kit Kat from a trick-or-treating stash faster than you can say “smell my feet.” But he loathes dressing up, so the fact that I have gotten him to do it so many times proves the omnipotence of my womanly wiles. And scary movies? Forget about it. He can’t even watch a commercial for Ghost Hunters. He probably won’t even dare to read this post based on the title. He so wouldn’t survive a zombie apocalypse. I, however, will have my vast knowledge of survival skills, thanks to The Walking Dead.

To me, it’s all in fun. As far as I’m concerned, there are things much scarier than Halloween:

1. The junior girls’ clothing department in most stores. (Oh, the horror!) Don’t go into the bargain basement! The evil hoochie will suck out all your dignity!

2. Being stranded anywhere cold. Or just standing in the cold. Or getting out of bed on a cold morning. Or just thinking about being cold. (Now I’m freaking myself out.)

glacier climbing
He is no doubt shooting the scariest movie I could ever see. This just looks horrific. Quick, someone show me a picture of a beach! (photo by By Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dennis Oglesby [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
3. Finding the perfect dress for an out-of-town wedding, traveling to the destination, and then realizing your forgot your Spanx. (I had to cover my eyes for that one.) We’re pushing the envelope of horror here. It’s worse than a slasher film.

4. Thinking your kid had an after-school activity only to get a call that she has been sitting in the parking lot waiting for you to pick her up…and sobbing. (Gasp!) Talk about Nightmare in the Carpool Lane.

5. Over-zealous salespeople at mall kiosks jumping out of nowhere. (No, please! I don’t have a minute to spare! If you let me go I won’t tell anyone! Please, I have children!)

mall kiosk
Look at ’em. Just stalking their prey like Jaws. Watch your appendages or they may end up the victims of sneak attack massages or covered in alien lotions. (By warrenski, Drop dead Dead Sea scum! [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

6. The guy behind the counter at Qdoba who has absolutely no patience for me deciding which kind of salsa, beans, and cheeses I want adorning my burrito. (My heart is racing with suspenseful, impending doom.) NO TACOS FOR YOU!

Here’s hoping you only encounter ghouls and goblins, and not something worse. Happy Halloween!

Things That Make Me Go “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Since it is the season of ghosts, here’s a little video for you:

Sorry. I had to. It’s Halloween law.

I love Halloween. Plain and simple. First, there’s the candy. Even adults sometimes need a special excuse to gorge themselves on fun size Butterfingers and Snickers. And there’s the dressing up. Halloween is by the far the best reason to slather on the face paint. Finally, there’s the scary movies. Though I can always enjoy a good horror flick any time of the year, pumpkin scented air somehow heightens the cathartic fear I crave.

My husband, on the other hand, hates Halloween for all the above reasons, except the candy. He will swipe a Kit Kat from a trick-or-treating stash faster than you can say “smell my feet.” But he loathes dressing up, so the fact that I have gotten him to do it so many times proves the omnipotence of my womanly wiles. And scary movies? Forget about it. He can’t even watch a commercial for Ghost Hunters. He probably won’t even dare to read this post based on the title. He so wouldn’t survive a zombie apocalypse. I, however, will have my vast knowledge of survival skills, thanks to The Walking Dead.

To me, it’s all in fun. As far as I’m concerned, there are things much scarier than Halloween:

1. The junior girls’ clothing department in most stores. (Oh, the horror!)

justice swimwear
Don’t go into the bargain basement! The evil hoochie will suck out all your dignity!

2. Being stranded anywhere cold. Or just standing in the cold. Or getting out of bed on a cold morning. Or just thinking about being cold. (Now I’m freaking myself out.)

glacier
He is no doubt shooting the scariest movie I could ever see. This just looks horrific. Quick, someone show me a picture of a beach! (photo from http://www.events.nationalgeographic.com)

3. Finding the perfect dress for an out-of-town wedding, traveling to the destination, and then realizing your forgot your Spanx. (I had to cover my eyes for that one.)

dress without spanx
We are pushing the envelope of horror here, folks. It’s worse than a slasher film. (photo from http://www.washingtonpost.com

4. Thinking your kid had an after-school activity only to get a call that she has been sitting in the parking lot waiting for you to pick her up…and sobbing. (Gasp!)

sad boy
Nightmare in the Carpool Lane (photo from dipity.com)

5. Over-zealous salespeople at mall kiosks jumping out of nowhere. (No, please! I don’t have a minute to spare! If you let me go I won’t tell anyone! Please, I have children!)

mall kiosks
Look at ’em. Just stalking their prey like Jaws. Watch your appendages or they may end up the victims of sneak attack massages or covered in alien lotions.

6. The guy behind the counter at Qdoba who has absolutely no patience for me deciding which kind of salsa, beans, and cheeses I want adorning my burrito. (My heart is racing with suspenseful, impending doom.)

soup nazi
NO TACOS FOR YOU!

Here’s hoping you only encounter ghouls and goblins, and not something worse. Happy Halloween!

The Firefly Effect: The Disappearance of Childhood

“Hey look! A firefly!”

My kids scampered off into the duskly shrouded park to chase the lone intermittent yellow illumination, as my husband and I sat listening to the music of Cornet Chop Suey’s free concert.

“Remember catching fireflies as kids and putting them in mason jars with holes punched in the lids?” I mused. “You don’t see as many fireflies these days.”

“Because there aren’t as many as there used to be,” my husband replied.

Silently, I mourned that childhood just isn’t what it used to be. It seems even fireflies are finding themselves in the same company as trick-or-treating, riding bikes around the neighborhood, and imagination…the vanishing company of childhood.

We accuse many thieves in the robbery of youth. Mistrust of mankind keeps us from allowing our kids to knock on strangers’ doors and see how much candy their costumes can bring in. Rising violence and fear of child kidnappers and pedophiles make us wary to let our little ones roam in carefree exploration of new ventures of play. We blame technology for doing the legwork of imagination for our kids, or claim that they are too overloaded with school and extracurriculars to have any time to daydream. And in the case of the disappearing fireflies, the culprits appear to be industrial development and light pollution. With all of these things becoming endangered species, what kind of childhood is left for our kids to enjoy?

FirefliesBut maybe things are not really as different for our kids as we think. Maybe it is just OUR perspective that has changed. We see things with the practicality and rawness of adulthood. True, the world may be changing…but this is the only world our children have ever known, and the only childhood they have ever experienced. We might see the absence of a few fireflies, but our kids simply see the ones that ARE there. And they have just as much fun chasing the five that are in their backyard as we did chasing the fifteen that were in ours. So the only thing that can rob our kids of childhood is if we tell them there aren’t any childhoods left to live.

It was silly of me to mourn that night in the park. Because as I looked around, I saw families sitting on blankets and nibbling on picnics…a playground full of kids giggling and squealing with the delight that comes from swings and merry-go-rounds…bikes and scooters gliding along paved paths…little tongues turning shades of blue, red, and purple from sno cones…and oddly enough, more and more blinking, glowing orbs lighting up the darkening sky.

Long live childhood.