A Halloween Trifecta: Soccer Players, Elsa, and Freddy Krueger

Modern day Halloween makes me long for the good ol’ days when our moms threw a white sheet over our heads the actual night of Halloween, cut two holes in it for eyes, handed us a plastic pumpkin, and we all headed out the door to walk the neighborhood we actually lived in, and enjoy trick or treating with the same kids we rode the bus to school with everyday.  It probably wasn’t quite that simple, and technically I never dressed as a ghost, but that’s my memory of it anyways.  There was however the one year my Dad was sick of all the princess stuff and forced me and my sisters to dress as something scary.  He painted my face green and made me wear a witches costume.  I cried most of the night because I was afraid of myself.  Dad also dressed my older sister as the bride of Frankenstein, and my younger sister as the Devil…pitchfork and all.  Tell me that’s not some stellar parenting.  Those were good times my friends.

But like everything, us humans and all our brilliant insanity must take everything up a notch, and now we spend the better half of the month of October searching for, and/or making the perfect costume.  I have no shame in pridefully stating I do not partake in such lunacy; however, I gave birth to Ella, the planner of all things over the top, therefore I can’t help but be sucked into this madness a little each year.

This year was extra fun because we have entered that ridiculous middle school age where you still want to trick or treat because it’s fun and you want the candy, but technically it’s not cool to jump all in with any costume that someone might interpret as “childish”.  It’s a difficult balance to find, and the obsessing begins somewhere around October 1st for my dearest firstborn.  To my amazement, this year she quickly decided on dressing as a professional soccer player, one whom shall remain nameless.  This costume met all acceptable criteria for a middle schooler.  It was indeed a costume which would allow her to trick or treat, but at the same time wouldn’t appear she had tried too hard, and it certainly wasn’t childish.  We had a winner!  But then one week out from the big day, I learned this particular soccer player recently posed topless for a magazine.

You have got to be kidding me.

Don’t hear me being all judging and self-righteous, that’s not my point, I’m just saying now it just felt awkward to clothe my daughter in her uniform.  We had to abort the mission and move on to Plan B, leaving us only one week to make a miracle happen.  Ella almost lost her mind, and I just kept reminding her that God made the entire universe in 6 days, so I was confident He could help us create a Halloween costume in 7.  And if ever I have been certain about anything, I am sure God delights in helping us find the perfect attire to celebrate this ridiculous pagan holiday we spend way too much time thinking about.  Obviously.

We finally settled on Catwoman with a cape, because Catwoman without a cape is inappropriate.  Lord help me.  Caroline is easy because as long as it involves a flowing dress that twirls, she is a happy girl.  Thomas simply needs a super-hero-type costume with a mask.  Any will do, and this year he chose Optimus Prime.  Boys are easy and simple mined.  The kid is 6 years old and still believes we are all fooled at his true identity when he is in costume.   I cannot tell you how many times he ran through this house calling on all Autobots to unite with him against the Decepticons, and then would stop mid-sentence, lift his mask and say, “Don’t worry Mom, it’s just me, Thomas.”  Bless him.

I talked with my sisters earlier that day, and they too were struggling with similar life problems.  My younger sister was searching for a Captain America shield for her son, because his costume came in the mail and apparently she missed the fine print that read, “shield sold separately.”  What?  How is that possible?  The shield is at least 50% of Captain America’s costume.  Luckily she found one last minute…but only adult sizes were left.  Baby Asher holding that shield which is as big as him, makes me want to quit everything and go on home to Jesus, because I now feel complete.

And then my older sister called later that evening to inform us she and her littlest Elsa were having to call it a night.  There was a terrifying Freddy Krueger following them from house to house.  It was becoming their own personal Nightmare on Elm Street, and enough was enough.  It really is a problem when you get on the same trick or treating route as a terrifying, half-dead, serial killer.  It was ruining Elsa’s evening, and through frantic tears she kept asking, “Is my mascara running?!?!?”  We were at least proud of her for caring about what matters most when Freddy Krueger is hot on her trail.

But back to my darling cherubs.  As the sun went down, we embarked on our own form of torture for the next 2 hours.  We took the kids to a neighborhood “known for good trick or treating”.  Mistake number one.  At least half the population of our city trick-or-treats on this street.  These people were giving out full sized candy bars, so obviously it’s a no brainer, this was the place to be.  Unfortunately, there is a downside because I spent 75% of my time asking Kev, “Have you seen Thomas?  I can’t find Thomas!  I thought he was with you?!?!”  There was no way to keep up with three kids in the middle of such pandemonium, and I am still in disbelief we made it home with all three of our children.

Mistake number two was allowing Caroline to pick out her own shoes.  Were they amazing?  Yes.  Were they completely appropriate for her attire?  Yes.  Did they rub open sore blisters on her feet and cause the whining to begin within the first 5 minutes of trick or treating?  Absolutely.

Mistake number three happened in an attempt to detour and get off the same path as the masses.  We headed down a side street, lest one of our children be trampled upon.  After walking for what seemed like hours, and stopping in the bushes along the way to let the little ones use the potty, we somehow found ourselves on one of the main roads through town.  A road that needless to say has a speed limit much higher than 25 mph.  It’s basically an interstate.  I have never gripped little hands tighter in my entire life.  Halfway down the road Thomas said, “Mommy I’m praying God is with us right now because I am very, very scared.”  Me too little man, me too.

The good news is it was an adventure, like almost every experience is when I am following Kev.  It was another successful year of Halloween torture, which really only seems fitting and appropriate.  At the end of the night, I did what I always do and tell the kids to hide their Halloween candy from me and no matter how much I beg, do not under any circumstances tell me where it is.  And like every year, the day after Halloween I begin making threats toward any of my children who will not tell me where their Halloween candy is hidden.

Hope yours was as ridiculous.

Amy Heywood