Saturday, November 01, 2008


This feels like our first real family Halloween, the three of us. Maybe because Munchkin is old enough (barely, but still!) to trick or treat, or because we live now on a street with a lot of kids, a lot of decorated houses, and not very much traffic. Maybe it's because we're not so stressed this year as last.

For as long as I've known him--that's five years now!--Pynchon has maintained that Halloween is his very favorite holiday. I begin to see why. Jack-o-lanterns, and candles, and decorations outdoors and in. Candy! Little kids dressed up such that you want to nibble on them, or at least squeal and pinch their cheeks.

Last night, I took Munchkin out trick-or-treating for the first time. She marched off happily, tiny little plastic pumpkin bucket in hand, knocking on doors and hollering "TRICK OR TREAT!" and afterwards tossing a polite "thank you" and a very vigorous "HAPPY HALLOWEEN" behind her as she clasped my hand to navigate her way back down off rickety porches by the light of glowing pumpkins. She warmed up to it, but, strangely, wouldn't go to the houses of the neighbours she knew best--I guess she figured there wasn't going to be Halloween there, because there usually isn't. I wonder what she thinks goes on at the rest of the houses?

She gravitated to where the other kids were, joining their groups, smiling and touching their costumes, expressing her admiration, trying to not get knocked over. It was adorable.

Slowly, we made our way home, to where Pynchon was holding down the fort with a giant bowl of candy as a steady stream of pirates and princesses climbed up to our own rickety porch. He was in his element: in the other house, we only tried to give out candy the first year. To two teenagers. Who came at 9:30. This is much more satisfying.

Munchkin and I set up on the porch: I dragged her high chair out and plied her with candy. She watched all the trick-or-treaters come to us, smiling and waving and shouting yet more "HAPPY HALLOWEEN" shouts. A colleague and her two young kids stopped by and played.

It was all over by 7:30, an exhausted Munchkin, ladybug dots still on her cheeks, and a thin coating of sugar still on her face and hands, tucked into bed muttering of treats and tricks.

Pynchon and I went to a party--it was nice, but the highlight for me, I have to say, was the early part of the night, seeing the neighbourhood lit up, touring the block with Munchkin, dropping candy bars into neighbour-kid pillowcases, complimenting costumes, smiling and waving at neighbour-parents. It felt good. Felt right.

Now if only Munchkin hadn't awoken this morning at 7, taking 15 minutes to limber up before launching into a full I WANT CANDY tantrum ... but it was worth it. Oh yes, it was.


Beck said...

Oh, that's beautiful. I love Halloween. That walk through the crisp dark, our child suddenly transformed into something other, the familiar houses on our street suddenly mysterious and FULL OF CANDY. It's fun!

Omaha Mama said...

The begging for candy before breakfast was very heavy this morning, that and Mason trying to climb his stool, chair, booster seat...trying to reach that unreachable plastic pumpkin. He fell on his head once today. We were all a little grouchy today and I wondered if it WAS worth it. I'm about to have a piece of chocolate out of the freezer, so maybe it was!

Kyla said...

Most beautiful ladies bugs I ever did see! Holiday enjoyment increases exponentially as kids start to appreciate the magic.

No Mother Earth said...

Nice pumpkin! (I feel kinda dirty saying that...)

And what a sweet ladybug too!

Cloud said...

Having a child has rehabilitated Halloween for me. I used to hate it, since in my old neighborhood it was just another excuse for young adults to dress in as little clothing as possible and go out and get smashed. Trick or treating was thin in the new neighborhood, which is still mostly old people (due to some of the more interesting aspects of the SoCal real estate market, which I won't go into). But Pumpkin is so cute in her costume, and I can see that next year, she might really enjoy trick or treating. The neighbors will certainly enjoy her! I took her to a few of our closest neighbors this year. She didn't really get the point, but they thought she was adorable.

I'm glad you have a good Halloween scene on your new street!

ewe are here said...

Sounds like a great first trick or treating adventure!

And such a cute little ladybug.

Jenifer said...

My kids must be strange, they haven't mentioned the candy yet! It looks like you had a wonderful night and Mom and Munchkin look adorable!

slouching mom said...

beautiful ladybugs and fantastic pumpkin, too!

Assertagirl said...

You two are the cutest mother-daughter ladybug team ever to grace a Hallowe'en porch! And is that The Count carved into your pumpkin?

Cheryl said...

You both look adorable! What fun!