This year was pretty much a bust when it came to Halloween. It was rainy and cold, and we had less than two thirds our normal number of trick or treaters come to our door (yes, my husband tallies them by quarter hour increments every year – I’m a lucky woman). Mister Man didn’t get to go trick or treating at all, and Little Miss was out for less than 40 minutes before calling it quits.
I know I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween, but trick or treating for and with the wee ones is a highlight. I love how every year they’ve grown and matured and the trick or treating rules I used to have to repeat at every house are now just automatic for them. Little Miss this year even kept telling me – unsolicited – how she has her trick or treat routine.
I ring the doorbell and take a step back. Then I count to ten, and if they haven’t answered, I walk away because they must not be home. Or maybe they ran out of candy, and they’re hiding. When they open the door, I say trick or treat. And when they reach into the bowl to get candy, I say thank you. And then when they drop it in my bag, I say Happy Halloween. Aren’t I polite, Mommy? And then I go to the next house and do it again!
It has truly changed over the years, but we’ve never missed it, and even when it’s been cold, we’ve toughed it out. Mister Man’s first Halloween, he was only a couple weeks old, but my husband took him trick or treating – in costume. He made quite the haul! And we’ve never missed a Halloween.
Until this year…
Little Miss had gymnastics practice scheduled from 4-6pm, and I was trying to figure out how I could not be that mom who just blows things off but at the same time, she’s a kid and I want her to have fun and not resent going to gymnastics. After being roundly reassured that it is completely appropriate to blow of gymnastics practice on Halloween, I heaved a sigh of relief. Until I saw the forecast.
It wasn’t scheduled to just drizzle or rain on Halloween this year. It was forecast to pour. All day. And all night. Couple that with fall temperatures and walking outside for hours at a time, and I was mentally shuddering. After seeing the weather and how uncomfortable I had been the night before, I made a deal with Little Miss. If it was pouring rain, we’d trick or treat at a couple houses then go to gymnastics and reevaluate the weather at that point.
She wasn’t thrilled, but she agreed to it.
Then I got to school on Halloween. Mister Man had crashed into another child during indoor recess and hit his head on the gym floor. He had made it back to class after a visit to the nurse’s office, but he wasn’t feeling well and had a headache. After getting his face painted Creeper-style (thanks to my amazingly artistic friend who laughed at my meager face painting supplies), I headed home to do some work. I made it only to my car before I was called. Mister Man was back in the nurse’s office, miserable and wanting to go home.
As I walked out, holding him against me, he assured me he didn’t care that he was missing the school Halloween parade. Or the class party. Or the movie they were watching. Or trick or treating. This is not my child. He barely made it home, and I called the doctor. Not surprisingly, he has a concussion and even today – three days later – he’s a little dizzy although today at least there is no headache. He was banned from trick or treating.
By this point, the rain was coming down in earnest. I drove home with my wipers on high. As agreed, Little Miss hit up two houses before heading to gymnastics where she was the only girl in her group to come – though granted we wouldn’t have gone had if we lived more than five minutes from the gym.
Fortunately, by 6pm, the rain had slackened somewhat, so Little Miss changed into her costume, and we set out – sadly, without Mister Man. It was still cold, and it kept raining on and off. After 40 minutes, she just wanted to go home, her tiny trick or treat basket not even full enough to empty into the backpack I long ago learned to carry with me.
It just didn’t feel like Halloween, and not only because our pumpkins still sit on our front porch uncarved. I didn’t get my annual costume photos with the wee ones either, though I’m debating recreating Halloween this afternoon now that it’s warmer and sunny. That wouldn’t be too wrong, would it?