Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Finding My Halloween Jam

Thomas loves Halloween.  I mean *L O V E S* Halloween.  We have been listening to our Halloween Pandora station for almost a straight year (minus the few weeks of Christmas music).  I have been reading Halloween books to him since July.  He wanted to decorate for Halloween in August.

Halloween is his jam all day long.

Historically, I have not liked Halloween.  I do not enjoy dressing up or carving pumpkins.  I don’t know the reason of my discontent for this holiday, a holiday that celebrates Heath Bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (and Almond Joy bars and Snicker bars and Peanut M & Ms).   It has just been one holiday that I go through the motions while biding my time for Thanksgiving and my Holy Grail of holidays, Christmas.

This year I decided to put my grumpiness aside and embrace Halloween.  I didn’t want Thomas to look back on his childhood and feel sad that Halloween was not recognized as the awesome holiday he believed it was.

He wanted a Halloween party. 

The party he had been planning since Christmas.

For two hours, I shepherded 25 kids through crafts, games, and the grand finale, the piñata Nathan had been obsessed with for months.  (Organizing this event was yet another time I was thankful for education background).

We went to a Halloween event at a local park to walk through the woods and hear Halloween stories.

We went to our neighborhood Halloween parade.

We went to another Halloween party.

We picked pumpkins and drank cider and ate donuts.

We carved pumpkins.

And let’s not forget about the classroom parties and parades.

By the time October 31stcame around, I was burnt out.  I was DONE with Halloween.  (And judging by Thomas’s wild and emotional behavior, he may have had enough, too).

I had a cup of coffee Halloween morning, trying to rally up some more enthusiasm for the grand finale.  I put on some Halloween music per Thomas’s request as I quietly made chili, a tradition I created when Marie began trick-or-treating.

As I watched Thomas dance and march and flail to the music, I paused.

I could see how he was feeling the music as he became lost in his joy for the beloved Halloween music. 

It was this simple pleasure of spooky music and creative interpretation of his favorite song lyrics that helped me gain a whole new appreciation for this holiday.

For me, part of being a parent is celebrating what lights my children up inside.  I try to put aside my personal preferences and get excited about what excites them. 

I may not have this whole Halloween thing figured out yet, but I am going to work hard to dial it in.  It might never truly be my jam, but seeing Thomas light about his favorite holiday (or whatever his passion may be) is my jam.

Have you ever had to embrace a holiday or activity that your kids love that was not your favorite? 

mommy on the spot erin janda rawlings halloween collage
That lower right picture was the riot that ensued after the piñata finally broke open.
Also note, that photo of Harrington carving pumpkins was taken about 10 minutes after start time.
He is always the last one standing. 

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