I now know what celebrities feel like.
“Are you Pascal and Rapunzel? Lucky Rapunzel.”
Two giggling elementary school girls approached Miss O and me while we were waiting for our trick-or-treating posse to catch up Halloween night. It took me a moment to realize what they were asking, mostly because it’s hard to hear with a hoodie hood pulled tightly around your face so that two big felt eyes sit in the right place on your head. Miss O was tired by that point, having hit up twice as many houses for loot this year and leading our little pack on the hunt like she was the newest tribute. I was more focused on steering her towards home and keeping track of what was in her pumpkin.
When they asked me a second time, I was overcome with that triumphant feeling you get when someone recognizes a more obscure, outdated or less obvious costume. It must have showed because the girls were even more giggly when I smiled and thanked them. I could’ve hugged each of them. I’m not sure Miss O knew what to do. She was looking at me with eyes that told me she wasn’t sure who those girls were or why they were talking to her mommy, but she didn’t like it and I was lucky she was too tired to do anything about it.
Miss O’s reaction to seeing the results of my promise to be Pascal, a costume I wasn’t entirely sure I could pull off and truly had zero interest in sewing, was more than I could have hoped for. Fortunately, I have a pair of green pants, green wellies and the aforementioned hoodie. I also have a healthy stash of fabric scraps that easily allowed for big eyes and a perfect chameleon tail. Who knew?! It’s one of the easiest and most comfortable costumes I’ve pulled together.
I’ve always loved that first moment when friends see each other dressed up and mutual admiration sets in. It’s great to see what people come up with and how they are so proud of what they get to be for a night. Whether homemade or store bought, the effect is the same. We all get to play at being something else.
Miss O does not disappoint with her requests or her reactions, and while I’m afraid I’ve set her bar pretty high, it’s great to see how happy she is when she sees the results. Hubs is no different. After vowing to be Rapunzel’s tower, I questioned his sanity and I’m sure I mentioned more than once that we probably had what we needed to pull off a modest Flynn Ryder.
Nope. His baby girl asked for a tower and that is exactly what she was going to get.
He did not disappoint. In fact, Hubs has a hard time scaling back, too. I caught him looking at screen shots from Tangled more than once and I swear he compared them to the tower play set she has in her room. Between the two, he looked pretty great and got more than one compliment himself.
I keep telling myself that I’m going to make it easy on myself and scale back on my efforts. Not that I’m not going to do anything, just that I’m not going to kill myself over the perfect homemade Halloween. For me this means store bought costumes are ok and letting go of my dream for a Martha Stewart level Halloween party. This year I was rewarded with the perfect low-key gathering of friends that turned out to be better than anything I could’ve planned.
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law brought my nephew Mr. A over for what is, I hope, our now annual tradition of trick-or-treating together. We invited another family over and were bummed when they had a family emergency and couldn’t make it. Some friends we haven’t seen in a few years happened to be in town and were able to bring their daughter Miss W to join us. Hubs convinced me to keep it simple this time. Chips, salsa and cheese pizza; the candy would take care of the rest, right? When our friends arrived at 2, Miss W was sound asleep in her stroller. It was a perfect fall day, so we brought the chips, salsa and drinks outside. I hadn’t even wiped down the table, but I didn’t let it get to me and no one but me cared anyway. When our in-laws arrived, they added hummus, more chips and hard cider. We stayed out there for hours.
Our friends live in Brooklyn and have no yard. I was apologizing for not raking since we didn’t expect the weather to be so nice and it didn’t occur to me that we might get to spend sometime outside. That’s when we learned our city friends might enjoy a little yard envy and somehow a rake and leaf bag appeared. I must remember this trick for next year. The kids had a ball making and moving piles and we cleared out one bag worth of leaves. Win-win.
We went inside when it started getting cooler and I set out a great build a monster activity I found on Pinterest. There’s a similar app Miss O loves on my iPad and it turns out Miss W has a similar favorite. It kept them busy for at least ten minutes, which is all I needed to get the pizzas in the oven. Of course, Miss O had zero interest in pizza and was saving her tummy for whatever the candy bowl may have to offer. Thankfully Halloween brings with it inherent motivation in the potential to lose trick or treating and that’s what got once tiny slice of cheese pizza in her belly.
Getting three kids and six adults into costume while pausing to hand out candy every 5 minutes is no small feat. A few thousand pictures later and we put the stock pot of candy and the bowl of tattoos, for the kids with food allergies or the parents hoping to cut back on the sugar, on the porch and headed out. Miss O had no problem remembering how trick or treating works and she and Mr A had a hard time remembering that Miss W, a full year younger than them, might struggle to keep up. Miss W figured it out after two houses.
As I’ve mentioned before, we live in a great neighborhood with lots of houses and lots of families. It’s basically a street party every year and parents go out in groups like ours, some with coffee, others with a little more in their cups, and it’s just as much fun for them as their kids. One family was giving out K-cups for the adults in costume and no, we did not hesitate to get ours. There were some excellent costumes this year. There were lots of princesses, ninjas and superheros. Our favorite were two girls going around together as a washer and dirty laundry. I wish I had a photo, it was that good. They had clearly done it themselves and beamed when I told them I loved it.
So imagine my delight when those two girls, dressed as a witch and a black cat, capped off my night with the perfect compliment.
Best. Halloween. Ever.