This year, Halloween is coming prepackaged, and I'm trying to make peace with that.
What do you get when you clothe your son in a gray sweatsuit, affix thin strips of yellow and white electrical tape in lines down the middle and sides of his body, and Velcro Matchbox cars along the spaces in between? Why, Greenbelt Road, of course!
How about when you put your toddler in his yellow raincoat, a borrowed pair of yellow rain pants, and his rain boots, tie some plastic fish on a rope to the end of a stick and let him carry the stick out in front of him? The most adorable fisherman ever to grace the seven seas.
And finally, using a black thermal shirt and pants, some colorful pieces of felt, and a basic understanding of the human anatomy, can you believe you can make your daughter's declaration of "I want to be the inside of my body" come to life?
Three past Halloweens, and I'm proud to say, three past winners of the Greenbelt Recreation Department's annual Halloween costume contest. Seriously, I'm not a crafty person. But in these instances, I could respectively copy something I saw in a magazine, pull together a costume using things lying around my house, and cut out felt organs and bones in a way that made me feel like a veritable Halloweeny Martha Stewart. Honestly, I think I've got much too much pride wrapped up in those three costumes.
This year? Let's just say that this year, I'm giving myself a pass.
Since my return to full-time work two months ago, life has changed significantly around Chez Mooney, and all of us have had to shift our expectations in various ways. Most likely, I'm the one having the greatest challenge with the changes. And as October 31st is about to roll around once again, I'm saddened that I have nothing planned or prepped for the three trick-or-treaters in my midst.
Part of this is that we simply haven't had as much focus on the upcoming holiday in our family conversations this year as in the past, because I haven't had the time or energy to devote to it right now. Last year, my daughter made her unique costume request several months before the fall, giving me a while to mull it over and come up with an idea to run by her. As I have no skill set to draw upon in the sewing field, it did take me several sessions with needle and thread to get it together. And the reality is that something of that caliber just ain't happening these days.
It's hard to admit, let alone publicly declare, that six days before what is arguably one of the biggest days of the year in a young child's life, I've got nothing. Zilch. But you know what? I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I think we'll be among the last folks walking the aisles of Target or Kmart this week, pulling together something or other for the kids to don in order to partake in their once yearly sanctioned door-to-door begging for free candy.
Because, let's face it, at the end of the night, it's all about the candy, anyway.
I've been thrilled to be writing a column for the Greenbelt Patch for over a year now, but the time has come for me to say goodbye. I thank everyone who took the time to read my thoughts on bringing up kids in our fair city, and I especially appreciated the feedback I've gotten through comments on the site and even in face-to-face interactions with fellow Greenbelters. If you feel like dropping by, come see me on my blog, my thoughts exactly.
Dawn may reside in Greenbelt in real life, but online she lives at her blog, my thoughts exactly, where she chatters on about her funny kids, her NPR obsession and plenty of other randomness. She can also be found at 5 Minutes for Books, reviewing everything from contemporary fiction to children's literature, and at The DC Moms, surrounded by incredibly talented local writers.