When I was a kid, my mother was a costume-designing hero. Every Halloween, she would concoct the most fabulous costumes for us to wear. Whatever our hearts desired, whoever my brother and I wanted to pretend to be, she could somehow make it happen with a little fabric and a little face paint.
Those were some of my favorite times as a kid, watching my mom transform us into some wacky character for one night out of the year. So, it’s no big surprise that in our family, we are huge fans of costumes. Costumes of any kind, anytime, anywhere. Naturally, when football season starts and the heat drops from 105 to 85 in Texas, we start thinking about Halloween. For the most part, my three plan their elaborate costumes for quite some time before the day actually arrives.
Some years I make the kids’ costumes from scratch. Some years I go the “semi-homemade” route and piece together their outfit of choice. But, no matter how the costumes turn out or how many or few hours I devote to their creation, I feel certain that Halloween will be one of my kids’ fondest memories of collaborating with their mother for a little make believe fun.
I know that some people find it shocking that a pastor’s family gets all pumped about trick or treating. But, I’m not really sure why. What is more wholesome and fun than pretending to be your favorite character and walking around with your best friends, visiting members of your church and other neighbors, and collecting an outrageous amount of candy?
The fact is that I am these kids’ mama, and I can control what kind of Halloween they have. They won’t be out stirring up mischief. They won’t be toilet papering houses or smashing pumpkins or playing with a Ouija board. They’ll be wearing their costumes to school (because that’s a fun tradition here). They’ll be going to our church’s fall festival. They’ll be in our town’s costume parade. And, they will experience some of the best trick or treating in the state of Texas.
I respect those who don’t choose to participate. I even understand it. But, as for our little crew, well, it’s simply a highlight of childhood, and we love it. Halloween is one opportunity for me to help teach my kids how to have fun, because it’s okay to dress up silly and wear a crazy wig and live out a fantasy here and there. It’s one day that happens to be in October when my kids and I work together to do something wacky. And, just like I have memories of my mother’s incredible costume-creating abilities, I hope that when they’re older they’ll be able to look back on their Halloweens with a smile and a “Man! That was fun.”