28 Oct 2010, 4:26pm

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Halloween: Traumas To Treats

Halloween: Traumas To Treats
I came away from the neighbor’s house clutching my bag of goodies. I clasped my Dad’s hand as we walked to the next house.
I wanted to be a princess that year, but my mother said my plump, 5-year old body would look better as a ghost. Instead of a gown, I put on a warm winter jacket. She put a sheet over my head, trying to line up my eyes with the holes.
The holes never did stay over my eyes.
Sstrange creatures were all around me that Halloween night, so long ago. The hub-bub of motions and sounds were unsettling.
I heard footsteps come running up behind me. A big boy jumped in front of me.
He punched my arm. It made me drop my bag of candy.
“Hey, Dummy,” my brother said, “Our Dad is going the other way.”
The stranger let go of my hand saying something about how all little ghosts look the same. He reached for another ghost’s out stretched hand and vanished.
My brother dragged me back to our real Dad. I was scared and mortified,
Halloween was never the same for me after that.
It wasn’t until the first Year my husband and I were married that I started to enjoy Halloween.
We went to a party wearing costumes we had made. They consisted of cardboard panels painted to look like Hershey chocolate bars.
Mine said Hershey Chocolate Plain.
Yes, his said Hershey Chocolate with Nuts.
As each of our children began to go Trick or Treating, they wore a little rabbit outfit made from a warm pj sleeper as their first costume.
Their second Halloween costume was a clown outfit. Usually I put just a touch of make-up on their face instead of a mask.
I always dressed up in a brightly colored caftan and went as a “good witch”.
Once I labeled my witch’s hat “Witch”. My son’s hat said “Son of a Witch”.
As soon as possible, I started the children on making their own costumes.
One of my all time favorite costumes was one Will made himself.
He took two large, cardboard circles and painted them a rich, dark brown. He wore a white shirt and brown pants. In his mind, he looked just like an Oreo cookie.
Paul carried out a Museum class theme one year by re-using the cardboard turtle shell for his costume.
It was slow going around the neighborhood that year!
My nervousness about Halloween resurfaced when the boys were old enough to go Trick or Treating on their own. I admonished them to stay on our street, but…
I tried to make staying home to pass out the candy more fun and attractive than going house to house.
This Halloween was our first time as empty nesters.
My husband and I sat at the dining room table which is near the front door. We’d removed the glass insert from the storm door to serve as a pass through window.
The first treaters were several large teenaged boys around 5 P.M. The main flush of beggars went from 6:30 P.M. to about 8:30 P.M.
The last Trick or Treaters were several large teenaged boys at 8:45. Come to think about it, they sounded vaguely familiar! I wonder how many times they came through.
We had no hassles about costumes, tammpered with candy or curfews this year.
We happily answered the doorbell to put candy in each and every bag or hand.
As our neighbor’s spooky music swirled through the cold air, we laughed and teased the children and adults who came to our home.
We stuffed ourselves with Snickers and Peanut Butter Cups to our hearts delights.
I think Halloween has become fun again.
We’re just not going to tell our grown children how we ended the evening by sipping camomile tea.
(Copyright 1996, 2010 by Kate Chamberlin)

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