Menifee Mom: Halloween Can Be Scary and Fun, Too

By Karen Thomas

I'll never forget the year that my kids embraced the "spooky" side of Halloween. One year they were "Cinderella," "Snow White," and "Sleeping Beauty," and the next year they were vampires, witches, and werewolves.

Our yard turned into a graveyard with dancing ghosts, fog, green lights, and spooky music. The girls picked out a scary mask with a wig for their dad to wear and even found a plastic ax for him to carry.

They were determined to scare the trick-or-treaters when they came visiting OUR house that Halloween.

My kids got ready early and set off on their own candy hunt at dusk, resolving to finish in time to go home and start scaring. They ran from house to house...hitting pretty much every house in our neighborhood. The candy was exciting, but they had one thing on their mind: Making kids scream.

As soon as we got home, they ditched their buckets overflowing with ridiculous amounts of candy and assumed their positions in the yard.

The werewolf growled and crawled around in the "graveyard", surrounded by caution tape. The witch stood by the garage cackling, "I'll get you, my pretty," the vampire crouched near a gravestone and hissed, and my husband hid behind an extra-large gravestone ready to jump out and scare unassuming candy seekers. (The girls put him up to it.)

I stood by the door with the toddler, ready to hand out candy to anyone who actually made it that far. The toddler, dressed as a not so scary jack-o-lantern, did her best to EAT as much candy as she could without getting caught.

As I surveyed the scene, I had to admit that it did look and sound pretty scary. Most of the little ones who came by wouldn't even come up our driveway without a bit of prodding from mom and dad.

The fun part was the older kids. You know, the ones who probably are too old to be out begging for candy, but do it anyway. (Hey, can you blame them?) My kids still talk about the teenage boy that screamed like a little girl and the teenage girls who jumped about a foot when my husband jumped out with his mask on.

When Halloween came the next year, my kids insisted we do it all again. Their costumes got traded around a bit, but the scaring was the same. To our surprise, we found that neighborhood kids remembered our house and that year they were bringing their friends by, hoping that this time THEY'D be the ones to get scared. Usually they did, and they would all enjoy a good laugh together.

At first I was sad to see my kids leave behind the innocence of princess costumes, but now I enjoy the tradition that has resulted. We don't embrace the blood and gore, just the old-fashioned kind of scary. They were pretty young when this all started, which worried me. However, I found that by dressing up as scary things, they don't get as scared by it anymore. To them, it's all just fun. To me, it's another part of our web of family traditions.

Karen Thomas is a stay at home mom of four daughters, has been on the PTA board at her kids' school for four years, and is a volunteer at her church, in addition to her activities as a volunteer soccer referee, a piano teacher, and a runner. Her column will appear here every Thursday. Comments are welcome.


Post a Comment