2020 has clearly been the spookiest year even without embellishment, but the thought of Halloween not happening this year because of COVID was pretty crushing for me. Halloween was my favorite holiday growing up, and it could be argued that I’ve carried more traditions down for that holiday than for any others. For awhile it seemed like trick-or-treating might not happen, but I began costumes in earnest in September because I needed to hang onto something.
In mid-August my parents watched the kids so that we could go out for our anniversary and that night they showed them the movie The Neverending Story for the first time. I loved that movie as a kid but I think I’d assumed they were too young and would be traumatized by Artax dying in the swamp (I mean, what 80s kid wasn’t traumatized by that?). I was wrong; they loved it. Immediately Jonah decided that he wanted to be Atreyu and Vivi wanted to be the Empress for Halloween.
It did not occur to me until right now that there’s an extended metaphor to be made here: that 2020 does in fact seem like a never ending story, or that when life feels horrible it’s best to leave it all behind and escape into the world of Fantasia where all of the beautiful and wonderous things we dream about come to life, or that only our imaginations and belief in what’s possible can save our world from total destruction. Yeah, none of that even occured to me until right this minute, but let’s run with it!
While we had two kids on a theme, Jude decided that he wanted to be an Earth Giant from Frozen 2. He was firm that he was NOT the Rock Biter, but come on. He decided to be a giant rock person and we needed a giant rock person, so I agreed to go with his design choices knowing that we had a family theme in the bag this year. I never make adult costumes because there’s not enough time (and I’m the only adult who cares about Halloween) but I couldn’t squander this opportunity, so we added the stupid bat and the racing snail. The kids begged me to make a luck dragon costume for Ivy but I really don’t think she would have appreciated it.
In the end we were overwhelmed with gratitude for our amazing neighborhood. Trick-or-treating looked different this year, but it was no less wonderful. The kids actually said that it was their best Halloween ever. So many people went to great lengths to hand out candy safely. So many candy chutes, so much creativity. The weather was lovely, the full moon was gorgeous, and we drank spiked cider with friends outdoors till the kids began to melt down.
Happy Halloween everyone. Please vote tomorrow, and may we all dream a better world into existence.