By Aimee Lewis Strain
My kids have coined Halloween as their favorite holiday. They love spooky things, pumpkin muffins and of course, Halloween sweets. It’s really always been their favorite holiday, quite possibly due to our neighbor’s creepy landscape of nearly 15 bloodcurdling monsters, pirates and headless figurines. My kids grew used to the spooky side of Halloween early on due to our neighbors’ seasonal dedication.
Each year near the end of September, my kids begin their holiday inquiries. They being their own deliberations – what costume will they choose? They throw out some possibilities and then they move on to mom. What will Mommy dress up as this year?
And just as soon as the questions begin, they begin to fade, as my children realize that each year, the month of October brings on an amalgamation of costumes for mommy to wear – and she doesn’t even need to dress up.
The Witch: I dust off this costume daily around 6 a.m. as I feverishly pack lunches, wrestle sleepy kids from their beds and make sure the previous night’s homework and library books are tucked away in their backpacks. Sometimes I don the black and green Wicked Witch of the West get-up; other times my kids encounter the Good Witch of the North, Glinda, depending on how much coffee and sleep is crammed in my body. Either way, a few “Eeks!” and other choice words spew out as we shuffle our way out the door.
The Ghoul: Around this time of year, I realize all that “summer mommy” thought she could accomplish on the volunteer circuit this school year. I become ghoulish each Sunday when I look at the week ahead, realizing that I have one afternoon of five free. (And the ghoul costume is just a mask to be pulled off once in the classroom volunteering with the little darlings…)
The Mummy: When I hear the ping of my alarm, I drape myself tighter in my off-white sheets. I roll to the left where it is more difficult for me to hear the all-too-early reminder that another crazy school morning routine is upon us. Once unraveled, it’s a scary site.
Frankenstein’s Bride: With the weather fluctuating from cold winter mornings to hot sunny afternoons, I thrash around my bedroom not knowing what to wear that day. Aware the clock is ticking, I yell from my bedroom, “We’re leaving in five minutes!” over and over until I am tardy and depleted and just throw on my workout clothes – all black, of course.
The Ghost: With a bit of stress pumping through my veins, I am more on edge, ready to pounce on any misbehavior I see. Although eerie in method, I find it’s a good way to spook the sneaky out of my kids.
Jack-O-Lantern: Once 8:30 p.m. hits each night, I sit barely blinking on the couch, impassive, stagnant and unrelenting to my children’s pleas for water or a hall light on. My candle is melting, my flame weakened by the day’s events.
Wonder Woman: I set a weekly list of things to do that’s longer than most magazines I read. And somehow I check off each box and move those I haven’t over to the next day. But proud to say, I get most everything done… with a little blood, sweat and tears, just like the powerful alter ego of Diana Prince.
I am quite certain that if one were to ask my children about my invisible costumes, they would certainly have a few to add. October is a scary month in my haunted house.
I believe October is busier than the end-of-the-year madness that May and June bring. October is the month where everything happens. Clubs and sports teams are in the thick of it and all the holidays bring on the need for extra helping hands at school.
I’m not sure the accurate account on the subject, but I would vouch to say that it was a mom who created the Western calendar we all follow. With all the costumes that I put on each October, I am happy that November brings a bit of gratitude to my life – a nice season to reflect and remember why we are doing all that we are doing. And then there’s the Christmas, where I spoil my kids with gifts and crafts and snowy vacations – all in time to close out the year and leave my children believing I was this fun, generous and even-keeled throughout the previous year.