What’s black and orange and spooky all over? One of my all-time favorite holidays – Halloween! I really love this time of year. It’s crazy fun to crank the a/c, drink a pumpkin spice latte and pretend I live somewhere nice and chilly where leaves actually change color and I can wear long sleeves without fear of a heat stroke by 9 am. In the very early morning, I can practically see my breath hitting the air in puffy smoke clouds, it’s just so chilly out! Turns out the extreme heat I am enveloped in has caused me to hallucinate because I live in Florida and cool temps will not likely roll through town until December … or February … or ever.


Costume Decision Time

Despite the warm temps, I press on with planning a Halloween my children will never forget. Just kidding, guys! I hit Target and try to find stuff on sale. Although many of my peers purchased their monogrammed treat bags from Pottery Barn back in August, you are sure to see me swinging by the nearest Dollar Tree at approx. 4 pm on October 31st trying to scrounge up something that is costume-y. I’m pretty sure a cheap mask and black clothes from head to toe will pass for something, riiight? I feel like such a slacker and then I remember my own childhood.

Whatever happened to a little charcoal *cigarette ashes would work in a pinch* smeared on our faces, a ripped shirt, and a pillowcase for a candy bag? Life was so simple back then! I want more than anything to want to plan matching family costumes. Alas, it seems that when you are the type of mom who throws her children pieces of bread at the bus stop and announces, “Breakfast!” you will not have the energy for that type of nonsense. Coordinated family Disney-themed costumes? Hashtag no. Not this year … or ever. Leading up to Halloween we have definite mom-duties coming up, so we need to prepare. Let’s not forget the requisite …

Pumpkin Patch Photo Shoot

When I was a kid I am certain I never had to pose in a wasteland of pumpkins. Kids of my generation were just happy with the occasional Ronald McDonald sighting or a nip on a candy cigarette from time to time. It was not necessary to visit Pumpkin Paradise in order to buy the most fabulous gourd in town. Last time I checked, they were sold in Publix, ya know. But this year I am fairly confident that my kids are the only ones who have not been photographed in matching orange shirts and blue jeans in the local neighborhood pumpkin patch!

I don’t remember agreeing to this photo session when I first filled out my Mom application … Or did I? It’s all become blurry over the years. I think I agreed to love, snuggle, and smile at a cheery newborn. It is possible I agreed to help a school-aged child with homework occasionally. Maybe I agreed to take a few snapshots here and there, not sure. But this new phenomenon of a mandatory photoshoot for EVERY SINGLE HOLIDAY is. Just. Too. Much.

Checking my mom-duties at the door, it’s time to move on the most fun to ever hit our suburban streets …

haThe Neighborhood Costume Party

There is nothing quite like the neighborhood costume party to bring out the most provocative Catholic school girl in all of us. It seems that and the bald-headed “construction worker” tends to round out the most common costume choices for middle-aged adults, at least where I come from.

Halloween can be a confusing time in a neighborhood. It’s like, “Hey! What’s up Joe!” over the hedges on a Sunday. Then suddenly it’s party-time the Saturday night before Halloween and everyone flips a switch. Pretty much nothing is funnier than watching adults hanging out eating Swedish meatballs from Costco and getting turnt.

“Um, hi, Joe, I mean, er, Dracula? How are your, um, quarterlies looking?” It’s just confusing! One second we’re just normal parents living our parallel lives side-by-side with the neighbors. Then you round the corner to go to the bathroom and accidentally bump into Susan smoking a clove cigarette while dressed as a naughty nun. I don’t know what to make of this. Susan, I know you as a librarian who is obsessive about vaccinations. How do I reconcile these two very different versions of you?

Not sure but I’m not going to stress about it. It’s Halloween. Anything goes. Crazy stuff just seems to happen this time of year. It’s haunted and weird and fun. It is no small coincidence that I have 3 summer babies, all conceived within a week or two of this unusual holiday. It’s really that magical. So, in the coming weeks, I will be seeing you at the Pumpkin Patch! You’ll know it’s me because my kids will not match. Also, I’ll be the mom hiding in the shade, just waiting for my chance to sneak off and dress up like something I am simply waaaay too old for.