|Halloween 2001 with my Lads 'n Lassies Kids|
I have always loved Halloween, and sometimes I really wonder why. I mean, its a scary holiday. Each one of my children have gone through stages where they have been frightened to walk down the "scary mask" aisle at our local Walmart. I would question my parenting skills at times, when I would try to convince them that the items on the aisle were meant to scare them, but don't be scared. They eventually each came around, and like me, dive full force into Halloween. I guess you could look at it in a positive light, because my children think witches, ghosts, boogeymen, and random "bumps in the night," no matter the time of year, are nothing to be feared. All three of my children love their own beds, their rooms, and they have never dealt with night terrors, nightmares or sleeping in my husbands and my bed. I'm not saying they are perfect (well, maybe in my eyes) but just that Halloween, and embracing the holiday hasn't had an impact on them negatively. Actually, I think quite the opposite. Because I love this time of year so much, call it what you want; Fall, Autumn, Harvest, Halloween, I embrace so many traditions that go along with it. I think I mentioned before that my son pointed out to me the fact that I am an idealist. He is absolutely correct, and until now, I didn't have a name for my philosophy. When I think of Halloween, I believe it introduces a Seratonin like high to my brain. A combination of the smell of leaves burning, the coolness on my face of the northern wind of dropping temperatures, images of apple-bobbing, haunted houses, and children running through the streets collecting their candy on All Hallows Eve. Its a tradition, and one I have always loved. Before my husband met me, on Halloween he kept the porch light off and didn't give out candy. He loves Halloween now, and I truly think its because he sees how much fun our whole family has together, making so many wonderful memories. Its not unusual at all for him to surprise the family with a spooky prop from Walgreens or bring in a pumpkin from the local grocery for us to carve. Its amazing to see his enthusiasm, and to see the kids reaction to Daddy being excited about something they truly love.
|Maddie-Grace carving a pumpkin with Daddy|
Every year, it has become a family tradition for us to build a "Haunted House" in our garage. As the years have gone by, the kids have learned to love it more and more. Sometimes I think my husband has lost his mind, he and my son Will spend hours making "not too scary" props-all so neighborhood kids can have a great memory of that "really cool house when I was a kid." It makes me so happy to see my son Will dress up as a Mad Scientist, handing out candy and having a great time. He and the girls are so proud of their "Haunted House," and can't wait to take all of their neighbors and friends on a tour. I know its a lot of work, but they will take wonderful family memories into their adulthood. They will know their parents enjoyed spending the time with them to put it all together, and maybe it might inspire them to have similiar positive vision for their family.
|Maddie-Grace with friend Sarah inside of our "Haunted Garage"|
I guess like anything else, Halloween is what you make of it. It can be something frightening, foreboding, something parents don't celebrate, and insist their children avoid. It can also be a wonderful opportunity for parents to bond with their kids. Hunting for that perfect costume, carving that spooky pumpkin, reading that cute little book about ghosts. Its all about your traditions, and Halloween like Christmas, Easter, and birthdays can be a wonderful chance to show your children how much they mean to you.
|Mary-Caroline dressed as a ladybug|
Halloween 2007, her 1st Halloween
|My brother and me, Halloween 1979-I was 11 and he was 9.|
Our Mom always made us up with scary makeup.
I cherish this picture, my brother passed away in 1996,
at the age of 27.
|Mary-Caroline sneaking her hand into one|
of the spooky haunted house props