Starting October 1, Zachary figured he had carte blanche to begin Halloween preparations. He had been scheming about his costume for months, and I had finally given in and ordered the one he wanted, but there was ever so much more left to do.
First, he needed several trips to the party store to stock up on skeletons and fake gravestones, not to mention one creepy looking two-foot rat. Second, he needed to pull out all the decorations we had in storage from back in the day when the adults were allowed to choose the slightly more dignified orange lights and smiling ghosts. And, third came the pictures.
The Halloween pictures. The ones he has been drawing, painting, and stickering for almost a month now. Every single afternoon. We have a collection of something like thirty pictures that he intends to distribute around the house. Our nanny, having some compassion for her employers, has suggested that perhaps we could string them together, rather than taping them floor-to-ceiling in all of the rooms. Personally, I am campaigning to hang them outside.
Zach has also been cruising the neighborhood on a regular basis, surveying the competition and, I presume, gathering inspiration. Now, every time either child sees so much as an orange streamer, they cry, “Mommy, look at the Halloween decorations.” Since four syllables are a bit much for Benjamin, the last word requires a bit of context, but after the thirty-seventh time, we are pretty clear on what “Hallowdations” means.
Two weeks before Halloween, we went to the “pumpkin patch,” which isn’t an actual patch but rather a parking lot with a wide selection of pumpkins and a bouncy castle. Zach wanted six. His father limited him to one large pumpkin per child, plus a couple of small ones for good measure. Of course, pumpkins require carving, and there was much discussion of how and when to begin the process. Yesterday afternoon, the pumpkin massacre commenced in my kitchen.
With less than a week to go before the big night, Zach moved on to the next phase: the candy purchase. For an entire week prior, he told me every day: “I can’t wait for next weekend. Daddy says we can buy our Halloween candy.” They came home with five bags. Who do they think is going to eat all the leftovers?
My fear, of course, is that the actual night cannot possibly live up to the hype. Except – I think it usually does. Birthdays, vacations, and of course Valentine’s Day are pretty much doomed to be let-downs, but as far as I can tell, Halloween is usually all it is cracked up to be. There’s very little that can be disappointing about people handing out free candy.
November 1, on the other hand, may really piss him off.