Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!


Having a child yourself brings back memories of childhood. I’ve found myself singing scraps of old songs learned in elementary school and not thought of for decades, like the one I found myself singing out loud earlier:

“Jack-O-Lantern, Jack-O-Lantern
You are such a funny sight
As you sit there in the window
Looking out at the night

Once you were a yellow pumpkin
Growing on a sturdy vine
Now you are a Jack-O-Lantern
See your candle light shine.”

I learned that when I was about seven years old, I think. I don’t think I’ve thought about it since, until it sprang to mind (and voice) while I was walking down a corrider at work today. I’m grateful that no one was around to hear me. Although I’m disappointed that no one noticed my Halloween socks. We are allowed to wear costumes to work on Halloween but the guidance is that if you might need to talk to a patient about something serious you really shouldn’t be wearing a costume. Since my job as a psychiatrist is pretty much always and only about talking seriously with people, I thought I would refrain from dressing up.

I was remembering my old Halloween costumes today. When I was little my mom made Halloween costumes for my sister and I, and for my dad too when we were really little. I have picture of us in matching lion outfits from when I was three or four. I can remember the blue fairy costume and the angel costume and the Native American princess costume from my early elementary years. I remember how beautiful I felt, all dressed up for the evening. I remember walking around the neighborhood with my sister trick-or-treating and becoming so weary.  When we had passed every house we would head for home, bringing the candy back for my parents to inspect before being allowed to eat two pieces.

My daughter and I went trick-or-treating around our little neighborhood early this evening. She wore a princess costume that my mom had bought her for her birthday, and I was grateful she had decided on that instead of insisting on being a ghost, which was her original plan. I couldn’t find a ghost costume in her size and I was nervous about her ability to move around safely with her head and body covered in a cut up sheet. She was a charming princess though, particularly with her plastic tiara nestled in her curly hair. We smiled and said “Happy Halloween!” and discussed which houses might have people at home (looking for the houses with lights, of course). We had just made it around the cul-de-sac when it started to lightly rain and she announced that she had plenty of candy and that it was time to go home. My husband and I inspected her candy (for peanuts, since she is allergic) and let her eat two pieces. Then she helped us give out candy to the older kids before she had to go to bed.

I’m glad I have so many happy memories to enjoy when they come drifting back on the wings of my daughter’s childhood. I hope that I am helping her make her own lovely memories to haunt her life to come.