As I have mentioned before, Halloween is a big deal in this house. We celebrate Halloween like it will soon be a thing of the past. I guess for me, Halloween at one point was a thing of the past; it was a thing for kids who were younger than 10 years-old.
My family did all of the typical Halloween traditions of dressing up in our favorite costumes and heading out into the neighborhood in search of the houses giving out the Snickers bars and Twix bars. We’d team up with our friends in the neighborhood as we went from house to house, and then later in the evening my parents would gather me and my sisters and they would take us to houses in neighboring neighborhoods.
Then when I turned 10 or 11 or so my parents asked us if we would rather have a Halloween party than go trick or treating all night. My mom said we could have our own little party in the basement of our house where we could bob for apples and play other games before going to bed in a tent that my parents would set up in the living room.
Thinking back on that conversation now, I’m pretty sure my mind never got past the bobbing for apples comment, because in no way does a family party in the basement seem like more fun than going trick or treating. Anyway, we all agreed that we would do the party thing instead of the trick or treating thing and that meant that our days of dressing up as vampires and goblins were over.
The party idea only lasted for two Halloweens before my parents were tired of the party thing. By that time I had turned 12 and my mom decided 12 was too old for trick or treating. My days of trick or treating were officially over and dressing up for Halloween became a thing that only kids did. That’s the way it remained until about 3 years ago when my wife convinced me to dress up for a Halloween party that her friend was having.
My wife and I have had many conversations about me wearing a costume for Halloween. Dressing up in a funny or scary costume isn’t even a question for her—it’s a necessity. For me? It hasn’t really been my thing and I’ve mostly fought the concept throughout our entire marriage. I don’t know if that’s because I stopped wearing costumes when I was 12 or if it’s just the lazy coming out of me, but Casey has only succeeded in getting me in a costume on that one occasion. My fight against adults in costumes doesn’t make any sense either, because I have thought up several scary costumes I could wear on Halloween for the sole purpose of scaring the curls out of Addie’s hair.
Last year Casey had the idea that our family would dress up in costumes that resembled the characters from Phineas and Ferb. Addie was going to go as Candace. Casey would go as Candace’s mom, and Vivi would dress up as Perry the Platypus. She bought me a used white coat and had planned on dressing me up as Doofenshmirtz. I agreed to play the part of the evil scientist of Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated (because he’s such a cool TV character), but I made no effort in arranging the costume or making sure that I actually wore the costume–which I never did.
Addie eventually changed her mind and decided to be Fancy Nancy for Halloween instead. Casey never got the stuff for her costume and I was too busy watching Vivi, who did dress like Perry the Platypus, to wear my Doofenshmirtz costume.
The more I think about Halloween and how much it means to my three girls, the more I realize that I am blowing a giant opportunity to be the type of dad/husband they really want. Of all the memories that my kids are going to have when they are older, having me dressed as a giant gorilla or some kind of ogre is something that will stick with them forever. And it will be a positive memory that they will want to hold onto forever. Something they can look back on when I’m dead and gone that will give them a little smile. And that’s the kind of memories of me I want my kids to have.
So, from here on out put me in the camp of being pro-parents in costumes for Halloween.
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