pigs and lions, bunnies and giraffes, oh my!

Halloween has never been my favorite holiday. In fact, I’ve barely tolerated it. Generally, it was just too dark and foreboding. I hate scary spooky stuff. 

Plus, there was too much pressure to come up with a great costume. I’m just not that creative. Every year our chids were in grade school I found Halloween to be incredibly stressful. Somehow we got through it but I was so glad when they outgrew it.

Back the old days, before the age of Internet, purchased costumes were rarely a good solution. Most consisted of a painfully hard plastic mask with a thin elastic strap that slipped over your ears and a one-piece brushed flannel screen printed ensemble that slipped over your pajamas. The local department store stocked a few hundred of a handful of varieties so you could be sure to see dozens of duplicates parading out and about.

Even I knew that was not acceptable. So I’d try to come up with a homemade alternative for each of our chids. One year early on, Pete was “Boo” and Michelle, “Boo, Too” (or was it “Boo Two”?), created with pillowcases and indelible ink pen. Pathetic, I know. The only costume I was remotely proud of, Daniel Boone, I’ve saved all these years!

Me: Do you want to be a “farmer” this year?
Chid 1: No.
Me: How about a “mechanic”?
Chid 1: No.
Hmm. Running out of feasible options…
Me (hopefully): How about an “old man”?

Again, I say, pathetic.

In our high school, it was tradition for seniors to dress up and join the elementary school children’s parade. For some obscure reason, I tried to create “Cousin Itt” from the Addams Family — who was a rainbow of color, as I recall. I used paper streamers to try to recreate his hair. It was horrible. No one had a clue who I was supposed to be. It didn’t occur to me until years later why. In addition to the fact that it was a poor rendition, the show was far from trendy.  We, living out in the country with our rabbit-ear antennae, just had so few choices!

Last night, however, I gained new appreciation for the holiday. It’s hard to deny cuteness of this caliber. Henry, the giraffe. Ollie, the lion. Sweet Sadie, the piglet. Maria the bunny rabbit joined the melee — and Sophia the bee also, although she missed the photo. Plus baby Rosie, who hung out, just being cute in and of herself. It was a crazy wild couple of hours with the little ones. A lot of fun. If only every Halloween cold be so sweet and innocent? I’d be all over it!

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~ René Morley

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