The jack-o-lanterns displayed above were the ones we carved this year. My three-year-old daughter chose the mad scientist design on the left, and my six-year-old daughter chose the tarantula on the right. My husband created the happy traditional jack-o-lantern in the center.
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed celebrating the festivities in a variety costumes and in a number of different cities — L.A., San Francisco, Miami, New Orleans, Boston, and Chicago, to name a few. Halloween takes on a whole new dimension these days, now that I have two young children.
In our neighborhood, we kick off the week with a Halloween party held at the barn, which houses horse stables on the lower level and a party room on the upper level. I was in charge of the costume contest this year, which meant that it was the first year that one of my own kids didn’t take home a ribbon. My three-year-0ld daughter dressed as Scooby Doo, and she talked her older sister into dressing as Daphne, the female detective from Scooby Doo. They told everybody that my husband was Shaggy, even though he wasn’t dressed up. They got a kick out of eating Scooby Snacks, graham crackers shaped like dog biscuits.
My youngest daughter remained in the Scooby Doo theme for her preschool party the following week and for trick-or-treating last night. My six-year-old daughter, however, changed her costume to a mermaid for her first grade party and for trick-or-treating. She wore an elaborate shiny turquoise costume decorated with flowers and shells, a tail on the front (which was picturesque, but made it a little difficult to run), and long cascading turquoise mesh sleeves. We braided her long hair down her back.
Our neighborhood facilitates a hay ride to drive the young kids from house to house. We reside about halfway along the hay ride route. My little one happily called it quits when they got to our house. She came inside to drink some hot chocolate, get warm, and help me hand out candy to the remaining trick-or-treaters. My oldest stayed out on the hay ride until the end, bringing home a pumpkin filled with candy, toys, and a caramel apple by the time she was done.
My oldest won’t eat half of what she brought home. In fact, the one candy bar she opened last night still sits on the kitchen table unfinished. My three-year-old, on the other hand, keeps asking for another treat from her pumpkin bucket every few minutes, and she’s also talked her older sister into turning over a good portion of her loot.