I can’t help it; I love Halloween. I love the weather, the bulk bags of candy, the spookiness, the horror movie trailers that autoplay when I’m scrolling through Facebook (not really; those things FREAK ME OUT). And I’m not bragging when I tell you I am awesome at coming up with Halloween costumes.
One year, I dressed up as Steve Urkel and won the prize for Funniest Costume (circa 1992; Ramstein, Germany; Mrs. Esack’s 4th grade class). When my then-toddler son wanted to dress up as Darth Vader, I wore earth tones and a name tag that said, “Hello, my name is Shmi.” (The nerds loved it.) Just a few years ago, I cut the sleeves off an old denim jacket (and my own bangs) so I could be Punky Brewster. Last year I was Russell from Up and carried around a handful of balloons, a white metal mailbox, and a stuffed Dug and Kevin. Stay tuned for this year’s most excellent costume, TRUST.
Okay, I’m totally bragging.
But it’s all in good fun.
Since I’m so in love with Halloween, I’m thankful we have PRIME REAL ESTATE when it comes to Trick-or-Treating. We live in a pretty big subdivision, and it’s one of only three decent-sized neighborhoods on our side of town. So that means all the kids who live within a five-mile radius are coming to our house.
If you haven’t already seen this article about kids crashing other neighborhoods for the good candy, read it and be peeved people actually care about that sort of thing.
Our first year living in this neighborhood, I bought eight giant bags of candy and ran out. In our neighborhood, you don’t really plan on being able to leave your house until midnight, because every street is lined with parked cars from non-residents. We’ve seen pickup trucks pulling a trailer full of kids who hop down and swarm out across muddy yards like locusts. Adorable, spooky, candy-coated locusts. It gets nuts out here, you guys.
These kids aren’t my neighbors’ kids. They probably don’t even go to school with either of my children. But they still show up on my doorstep holding open pillowcases hoping I’ve got Reese’s cups or full-sized Snickers (I do, you guys, I totally do).
And it’s okay. It’s great, actually. I get to see hundreds of different costumes, hundreds of different ways kids show off their creativity or their latest pop culture obsession or their hopes and aspirations, all in the form of a favorite superhero or Disney character or professional athlete. It shouldn’t matter whether or not they actually live around here.
I get to see kids being kids, in their purest form—demanding candy from grown-ups. It’s a small price to pay for the joy they bring me in return.
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Jessica Buttram parents, writes, laughs, and eats too much chocolate. She has no practical advice and zero life hacks to offer for this whole parenting gig, but she makes a mean grilled cheese sandwich, and that’s something, right? When she’s not bribing her kids with Doritos to make them sit still and snuggle for just a few minutes longer, she can probably be found vacuuming Dorito crumbs out of the couch. Her family is her whole world, except for the part that belongs to coffee. You can find her @jbuttwhatwhat and meetthebuttrams.com.