Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. I am one of those people who start planning their costumes three or four months in advance, who start decorating their house for Halloween the last week of September, and who puts on a costume just to answer the door to hand out treats on the big day. Halloween brings out the child in me in a way Christmas never does.
My love for the holiday has a lot to do with my family back in Puerto Rico. My mother studied theatrical makeup at the Art Institute of Chicago in her early twenties and loved coming up with different, exotic costumes for us. My dad loved making costumes by hand, and once spent about four months making a headless horseman costume for my brother.
Jadit grew up wanting to do special effects for movies, and loved watching horror flicks and poring over Fangoria magazines to see, for example, how Freddy Krueger's makeup was done. Then he would go to the costume shop, buy vats upon vats of liquid latex, and use me as a guinea pig for his special effects experiments. Unassuming friends would knock on our door and run away screaming when I opened it in full zombie face, complete with peeling gray chunks of skin and oozing, supurating bloody wounds. This made me super popular around the neighborhood.
As you can see, Halloween was HUGE in my house when I was growing up. For years and years after I got married, I dreamt of the day I would be able to take my child trick-or-treating or pick out a costume. While we were still going through our fertility issues, I got to be the one to take our nephews Justin and Jack to buy their costumes and helped put makeup on their faces. I loved every second of it. Alas, all to soon, they got too big for costumes and no longer required my help, so for a couple of years there, Halloween got a little bittersweet for me. Once Dylan came home, of course, Halloween once again regained its place of honor in my estimation.
The first year he was home, we threw a huge Halloween party. All his buddies (and many of their parents) came dressed up, and we all had an absolute blast. Dylan had no idea what was going on the first time we took him Trick-or-Treating, but he got the hang of it pretty quickly when he realized our neighbors were handing him candy! He wouldn't even leave it in his pumpkin. The second he got the candy he wanted to put it in his mouth. Last year, Dylan knew about Trick-or-Treating, but was not super enthused about the rest of the holiday. He showed no interest in picking out a costume, so I decided he would be a dragon.
This year, Dylan is ALL ABOUT Halloween.
He decided a few weeks ago he wanted to be a tiger, and when his costume arrived he wanted to put it on immediately. He would not take it off for two hours, and then only because he was sweating profusely. His current favorite book is "Five Little Pumpkins." He can almost recite the whole thing by heart now. All he wants to watch on TV is The Nightmare Before Christmas or Little Einsteins Halloween. He loves walking around the neighborhood to the "monster house" - a nearby house that gets ALL decked out with zombies and skeletons and such things - and pointing out the scarecrows and ghosts and Jack O'Lanterns decorating every house he sees. All he wants to draw are ghosts and bats and pumpkins.
I love it. I love that Dylan is so enthusiastic about Halloween (enter Bill saying "How could he not be with YOU as a mother???"). I love that he is not scared of the scarecrows and goblins adorning our neighborhood. I love that he is already getting excited about going Trick-or-Treating (I do have to admit, though, I'm getting a little sick of reading "Five Little Pumpkins" and watching The Nightmare Before Christmas). Most of all, I love that we get to celebrate my favorite holiday with our amazing son. I can't wait to see what this year's Halloween has in store for us!