All sanity in our family goes out the window about six to eight weeks before October 31. We combine efforts with my sister’s family to create a Halloween that will surpass everything we’ve done in the past. Yep, we are one of those families who goes all out with outdoor decor, costumes, makeup and yes, even rehearsals! (Our husbands even built a guillotine and coffin from scratch one year.)
Neighbours come to my sister’s house from far and wide. They say, “What time is the next show? I want my friends to come and see it!”
One year we were a group of sick doctors doing open heart surgeries with a chainsaw (no chain of course!) but it still sounded terrifying! Another year we were zombies that were claiming our next victim in a car crash in the driveway. We’re not really clown-and-fairy people. We are morbid and scary and not-quite-right-in-the-head people.
We have been doing this long before Davis was born. The funny thing is Davis doesn’t really like our scary shenanigans. He will dress as Batman or a ninja while the rest of us look like we just came off the set of Thriller.
Davis is whatever or whoever he wants to be. We don’t push him to be part of the scene and, so far, he has not taken part. He sits with his grandmother – who is dressed up in her own scary costume – and observes.
Early in the evening, we go trick-or-treating with him until he’s tired. Then we head back to my sister’s house to terrify the trick-or-treaters. Davis just looks on with a smile, a handful of Smarties in hand and takes it all in.
His twin sisters, age 16, and my nephews, 16 and 18, love to get in on the action. In fact, one year we contemplated packing it in, and it was the four teens who insisted on keeping the tradition. Every year we watch to see if Davis wants to get more involved.
We are already plotting and scheming this year’s fun. The big pot of chili will be made and the purple ghoulaid will be on ice. The neighbours will be expecting us to outdo all the previous years and tradition will live on. Only this year our plan is to convince Davis to join us on the dark side! (Insert evil laugh here!)
Meghan Bradley is a full-time sales rep and mother of Davis, 6, and step-mother to Madison and Mackenzy, 16. To read more of Meghan’s Mommy Diaries, visit raisingdavis.com or follow her on Twitter @raisingdavis.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, October 2012.