Just a Halloween Ago…

This morning I found myself reminiscing about times past, and it was wonderful to relish in the beauty and wonder of childhood without restraint once more.  My sister and two-year-old niece, Hadley-bug, came over this morning for some Halloween fun. Watching Hadley, my son, Coell, and my daughter, Hannah, dance and squeal with delight while listening to “Ghostbusters” and “Men in Black” and decorating cookies in the shapes of ghosts, cats, pumpkins, and bats almost brought tears to my eyes.  Partly because I was thinking about the mess I’d have to clean up later, and partly because I knew they’d look back someday and think these were the best days of their lives, just as my sister and I think about our childhood Halloween adventures.

Halloween is one of those constants.  You know what I mean: things change and evolve over time, and as adults, we know that things will never be “like the good ol’ days” again.  BUT, some things are constant.  Today is Halloween.  Today, people are reminded how it feels to be have fun again, just like they did 10, 20, or 50 years ago.  People who tend to be more nostalgic, like myself, will always get a little excited when they dress up as someone other than themselves, like that very first Halloween they can remember.  My personal favorite is the classic witch with her flowing black robes, black pointy boots and hat, black fingernails and magical broom.  (Maybe I’m starting to piece together an explanation for my obsession with Harry Potter?)

Anyway, it’s rainy and cold outside, but that doesn’t matter.  It simply makes the candles in the pumpkins flicker a little more and add to the spookiness they already emanate.  The rain is helping the autumn leaves let go of the tree branches and slowly fall to the ground, reminding us to enjoy what’s left of this season before it, too, is gone.

I remember cold Halloweens as a kid, running up to the door, waiting with anticipation to shout “Trick-or-Treat!” to grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and then soaking up the warmth and delicious smells of freshly baked cookies and candy when they’d open the door for us.  Halloween was just another excuse to visit loved ones, and we took every opportunity we were given.

I laugh looking back and remembering some of the elderly couples from church we’d visit.  Some of them greeted us wearing scary masks or costumes themselves, and it almost always scared one of us to tears.  It seems like such a strange paradox to think about these warm and snuggly geriatric friends experiencing joy when scaring toddlers…lol.  I know that in reality they just enjoyed the visit, and I appreciate that my parents recognized this and took us to see them, masks or not.

Days like today also make me realize how very much I love my sister, aka, my best friend.  Only my sister would dance to Thriller with me and laugh at our children as they fight over the purple icing for the hundredth time today without losing her mind.  I’m not going to lie, rolling out dough, baking, and decorating cookies with a 1 year old, 2 year old , and 4 year old is not a stress-free situation at times.  And let’s don’t even talk about whose turn it is to use the rainbow sprinkles.  I can’t experience that with anyone else without worrying if they’re having a good time or not, because I know she did- even though she did end up washing all the dishes when it was over.  We took pictures of the kids wearing aprons (yes, even the four year old boy, sorry, Coell).  We ate until we couldn’t move.  We watched parts of Halloween Town, and then we sort of cleaned up the kids enough to be recognizable again once the icing and sprinkles were washed away.

So now, I have to go get a Princess and her captor, Count Dracula ready so we can do a little spooking ourselves.  Happy Halloween to all!

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