Growing up, Halloween was my favorite holiday, behind Christmas, of course. The thrill of dressing up and then getting loads of candy for it is every kid’s dream! The only exception would be Halloween 1998 when I decided to be a French maid (I have no idea why, but who am I to question my 9 year old mind). Turns out I am highly allergic to feathers and had an allergic reaction to my feather duster. I spent the entire night puffy, sneezing, and snotty, but nonetheless, I hung in there and filled my pillowcase to the brim with candy.
I loved Halloween so much that when my husband and I were newly married, we decided we were going to have an annual Halloween party at our house. It would be the best way to celebrate the festivities with our kids, neighbors, and friends! We even had the novel idea to set our projector out in the driveway and have Hocus Pocus and Casper playing for trick-or-treaters as they passed by. This dream went so far as to have a Pinterest board dedicated to it. Now that’s what I call commitment!
Some of you reading this may be thinking, “Hey! I never got invited to their annual Halloween party”. If your egos are bruised, you should know that there was never a party. By the time Gene’s first Halloween was here, we already knew about his allergies.
For Gene’s first Halloween, Blake had the flu and was down for the count. In an attempt to still do something, I put a French Bulldog hat on Gene, went to snap a few pictures with his cousins, and came home.
For Gene’s second Halloween, it was raining cats and dogs, so we did Gene’s usual bedtime routine, placed a bowl of candy on the porch, taped a note to the front door daring anyone to ring the bell, turned out the lights, and cheered on the Astros.
Now you may be thinking that these are pretty sad Halloween memories for a kid and I completely agree. However, Gene has no recollection of his first two Halloweens, so there’s no reason to feel bad for him.
Gene’s third Halloween was last year. He was two and a half and had enough sense of the holiday to know that kids dressed up and were rewarded with candy for saying, “Trick or Treat!”. We didn’t think that we could entirely gloss over the event but still didn’t know how to best explain to him that he wouldn’t be able to eat his hard-earned candy. Enter the church trunk-or-treat fall festival. We decided that this would be the best alternative to Trick-or-Treating for Gene.
My favorite part of the festival was taking Gene to the Halloween warehouse to pick out his costume, as this was a first for us. For weeks, he had been saying he wanted to be a pumpkin or Goofy. Low and behold, Gene spotted a banana costume and was locked in. My husband didn’t love the idea and tried to persuade him into every other costume in his size, but Gene wouldn’t have it. Once Gene slipped on that banana costume, we were all sold. He was the cutest darn banana I’ve ever seen! The irony of it all is that we were struggling with Halloween because of his allergies and he chose to be food of all things
The festival was a huge (sweaty) success and we’re hoping to go back again this year. However, since the festival wasn’t ON Halloween, we were still struggling with what to do on the 31st.
After much deliberation, we decided to (once again) skip Halloween. Instead of sitting at home and locking our doors, we made the 11 hour drive with both kids in tow to Florida. Neither kid had been to the beach before, so we decided it would be the perfect opportunity for their first vacation.
Gene was so enthralled with building sand castles, flying kites, and running away from the waves that he didn’t even notice we missed Halloween. Since there were no kids gleefully passing by our house in their costumes, there was no explaining to our sweet boy why he couldn’t participate.
I think we made the best decision for Gene and for our family for his first three Halloweens. Unfortunately, this year will be a whole different story. We haven’t decided exactly how we are going to celebrate this year, but I’m sure it will be the most difficult Halloween yet. Three and a half is an age full of never-ending questions and, this time, momma doesn’t have all of the answers. At least not ones that are easily understood and accepted by the Question Master.
I will fill you in on Halloween 2019 when the time comes. In the meantime, please check out the Teal Pumpkin Project and find a way to include all kiddos in the fun this year. Changing or adding to your treats will mean more than you could ever imagine to all of our allergy ghosts, princesses, and superheroes. After all, they truly are superheroes, costumes or not.