on (not) loving halloween

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So, I understand that as a parent I’m supposed to be super gung-ho about Halloween. And, to some extent, I am. I love kids in costume (obvs), a legitimate reason to binge on candy, and the decorative opportunity that Halloween brings to my life. I absolutely want Natalie to have wonderful memories of Halloween–pumpkin carving, picking and making costumes, going door-to-door in our neighborhood to trick-or-treat, and generally getting into the spirit of the holiday.

For that reason, our house is decked out in fall paraphernelia and I’m going to go way overboard in photographing Natalie in her costume this year and every Halloween. Guaranteed.



But, to be honest, any love affair between me and All Hallow’s Eve ends there. Many of you already know this, but perhaps one of the first phrases I’d use to describe myself is “easily frightened.” I am overwhelmingly and irrationally terrified of all things scary, and many things that aren’t meant to be at all scary. So Halloween is kind of a living nightmare for me–ghosts, goblins, vampires, witches, werewolves, people in Jason masks… Ugh. Heart attack after heart attack.

Don’t even get me started on haunted hay rides (which, after my sister lovingly pointed out that they are the optimal setting for the perfect crime of dragging an unsuspecting Halloweener off into the woods for some unspeakable chainsaw-related death, I avoid at all costs). Scary movies? No way. Mikey is constant red-alert for scary movie previews coming on television so that he can jump in a flash to mute the tv or change the channel while I sit paralyzed in fear, eyes closed, hands over my ears, hollering “LALALALALALA” so I won’t risk hearing even the slightest whisper of suspenseful music or catch a glimpse of a menacing shadow lurking on the screen. Heck, even movies that are meant to be farcical interpretations of horror movies can send me into a downward spiral of terror that will take weeks to recover from.

I know that Halloween has become Facebook’s favorite holiday, and that Halloween weekend can equal the biggest party of the year for many, but for me? I make it my goal to just get through it without suffering any long-lasting psychological damage. It’s not popular to say you don’t like Halloween, but honestly I could generally do without it.

For Natalie, I will always do my best to make it special, but the minute she starts crossing into the dark side of Halloween festivities and choosing creepy costumes, horror movie marathons, and Ouija board sleepovers… well, I just may have to take a vacation and leave the scary stuff for Mikey to handle.

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