Raising Richmond: Happy Hallo-wait, is that this week?

We’re doing Halloween again already? This year I didn’t have time to plan for it, but it’s on track to happen just fine anyway.

Last year I confessed my lack of enthusiasm for Halloween and my inability to make creative costumes after my daughter requested to be a turnip. That worry (like most) was for naught, as my husband delivered on the turnip costume, and the resulting photo still makes me incredibly happy.1


We had a lot of fun trick or treating with our turnip and her werewolf friend last year. And this year someone (not me) taught her “trick or treat, smell my feet,” which is my favorite rhyme and adds another layer of joy to the holiday. So while it’s not a day I would think about if I didn’t have a child, Halloween feels like less of a bother now.

We meant to get a good start on a costume this year. We’ve been asking our daughter since summer ended what she wants to be for Halloween. Her answers have varied, and most have been characters that do not exist, like Candy Girl (as heard in the Archie’s “Sugar, Sugar”), a bat princess (maybe that’s her version of Batman?), and a princess-ghost-mummy.

We gave her a hard deadline to decide last weekend because her dad was going to make the costume.2 She’s held pretty firm on princess. No costumes have been made, mostly due to Halloween falling out of scope for things we’ve needed to think about.

Halloween happens between her birthday weekend and a weekend of going out of town to visit a lot of family, so what outfit she’s going to wear between 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday night isn’t currently my biggest concern. Despite my initial disappointment that she fell into that princess wormhole, we would have to do little more than put her in a hand-me-down dress and gold shoes to make her a princess. We can even accommodate her last-minute switch to a butterfly costume. She has wings and pipe cleaners for antennae. We said she couldn’t keep changing her costume, but it turns out we don’t really care. We’ll make do with what’s in the house already, and I know she’ll be fine with that (as evidenced by how excited she is to wear her blanket as a cape, or just wear a dress and say she’s a princess).

I would actually keep forgetting about Halloween if it weren’t for the three Halloween-related activities she has in school this week that I have to do something for, and if my morning runs that start at 5:30 AM in the dark didn’t spook me out3 and then remind me of Halloween. Our schedule will make it hard to get much street-time for trick or treat Halloween night, but she’s got a school thing that day to give her all the candy she needs and a party the day before. Plus, she’ll still be full of sugar from her birthday weekend that was basically just adults throwing donuts and cake at her.

While my tendency is to get worked up about making sure she gets a good experience, Halloween is happening without us doing much more than sending her to school with a costume and candy. We got a nice free pass this year.

I am disappointed that I’m not able to participate in a trunk-or-treat for her school. I’m pretty lousy with costumes for myself, but I was proud that I thought of the following:

  • Wendy from The Shining: I could run around in a bathrobe and wave a knife, both things I already own.
  • Ripley, with my daughter as Newt, from Alien: I could run around in a tank top and wave a blonde child, also two more things I own.
  • Rosie the Riveter: I could wear a denim shirt and polka-dot bandana and work on airplanes, although I own none of those things.
  • Sexy princess ghost mummy: I…OK, I don’t know how that one would work.

I can save those costumes for next year when I’ll need to semi-be invested again. Happy Halloween to everyone out there. I hope your princesses, superheroes, and assorted root vegetables have a safe and fun time.

  1. If anyone wants an unwashed turnip costume perfect for a three-year-old, let me know. 
  2. All of his costume-making plans start with “get a sweatshirt three sizes too big…” 
  3. Last week, while I was running I noticed that police/ambulance sirens went non-stop until about 23 minutes into my run. The moment they stopped I heard a loud cry, which started out sounding like a baby, then turned into a dying cat. My dog and I stopped for a very long pause and then we both slowly backed away. Running in the dark is creepy, especially when confronted by invisible, baby-eating bobcats. 
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Kelly Gerow

Kelly Gerow lives and writes in Richmond. She probably does other stuff in Richmond, too.

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