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Wednesday, November 3, 2010


When I moved overseas, there were many things I knew I would miss about the US.  There's just no equivalent for Target, and parking lots are a particular speciality of the United States.  I don't have family within five thousand miles, and parks here are just as mythical as parking lots.

One thing I knew I wasn't going to miss, however, was Halloween.  Perhaps I inherited this dislike from my mother.  As a child we never had Halloween decorations aside from the obligatory pumpkins, and our most elaborate costumes were designed and constructed by my father.  For whatever reason, I don't care that much for Halloween.  And I was happy to live in a country where this holiday could just slide right by, unnoticed.

And then we went to play group a few weeks back.  One friend who is my polar opposite in crafts (she does them, she does them well, and she's creative) had a Halloween-themed morning at her house where we decorated pumpkins, made marshmallow ghosts, dressed up in costumes, danced to Halloween music, and were presented with ribbon-wrapped pumpkin playdough as we left.

I didn't make much of the morning, hoping I could deflect Kathleen's questions just like I did the ones about where babies come from.  Unfortunately, she was more interested in Halloween because it's a holiday.  And holiday always means fun.

A few days after the play group, she sidled up to me and attempted to ask with a nonchalant air, "Mom, is Halloween a holiday for kids?"

I didn't have the heart to lie, and told her that yes, Halloween is a holiday for kids.  Excited, she asked, "Can we go to Halloween?"  We had a friend who was hosting a party so I reluctantly told her that sure, we could go to Halloween.

Luckily another friend with a daughter Kathleen's age had a princess costume that Kathleen could borrow, and I figured that Sophia could go in Kathleen's her leotard, ballet skirt, and ballet slippers.  At least three hours every day leading up to Halloween was spent in costumes, and Kathleen counted down each day until we could go to Halloween.

At last Saturday dawned, and following their naps, we got everyone ready to go to Halloween.  The princess costume had been swapped back and forth all week, and Sophia was totally and utterly dismayed to find out that Kathleen was the one to wear the princess costume and she was stuck with a leotard, skirt and ballet slippers instead of light-up princess shoes.

I felt for her, also being a second child with unwanted costumes fobbed off on my while my older sister got to be the princess.

However, there was only one princess costume and it fit Kathleen.  Despite Brandon's threats of staying home, we all went with a dubious Sophia in tow.

As soon as the girls were introduced to the game of trick-or-treating through the hallway, Sophia didn't care what her costume was and all was right with the world.

Hopefully we can convince the girls that Halloween was a one-time deal, but I think that they get smarter as they get older and the genie has been let out of the bottle.  Thank heaven we already did away with Santa Claus.


UnkaDave said...

No Halloween?! Why that would be, well, Un-Amurhacuhn! I can't believe they don't have Halloween over there, I mean, most of the people are already dressed up in those funny little costumes anyway, right? It'd be downright simple, and a great way for U.S. of A farmers to export pumpkins!

UnkaDave said...

P.S. Tell Sophia that I always think of her as a beautiful princess.

kelley said...

I'm so glad there is someone else that doesn't like Halloween. I tell people this and they think it's grounds to remove my American citizenship.
I'll be honest, the picture of you guys from Halloween, I laughed. Out loud. At least you both had crowns...

PaulaJean said...

What Ashley didn't mention was that she was placated, somewhat, by being Queen of the Clowns. Hey, it was a costume I didn't have to make!

Bfiles said...

hi there, just found your blog through I'll take mine to go. Starting A100 in Jan with 2 little ones in tow (and a husband). This post is fabulous! I so feel for your littlest one as she cries her heart out. I hate when my 2yo just doesn't get it and gets her feelings hurt. I look forward to following your blog!

Tyler and Rachael said...

i loved this post. i love your writing. i love the pictures of the girls. glad that halloween turned out so well.

Mary Pugh said...

Ok those pictures are absolutely priceless. Your girls are adorable. I have to ask...what was your older sister dressed as...the one in the far right?

Becky said...

I was pretty excited to join the FS and be done with Halloween. Then I found that at post it was even a bigger deal than at home since is was an all American holiday that everyone wanted to hold on to. We moms do what we have to eh?
Funny thing is Halloween year two at post I actually started enjoying it after years of not liking Halloween in the States. Just basking in our all American weirdness I guess :)