Halloween was always one of my favorite childhood holidays. My mother often hosted fun Halloween parties for the family, and I loved trick-or-treating. I loved it so much, I would have nightmares that I missed Halloween, either by being too sick to go or somehow sleeping through it.
I enjoyed dressing up and seeing the decorations, but, most of all, I loved the candy. Throughout the year, my parents tried to make sure that we ate “healthy foods” to the point that my mother would make a 30+ bean soup on Halloween night so that her girls would eat a ton of nutrients before enjoying our candy. (The year that she let us have pizza for dinner instead was glorious!) But, after trick-or-treating, I would have a full stock of candy that was all my own. My parents would definitely try to say we could only eat two pieces of candy at a time, but it was my own candy so I often would sneak more than that. I miss my younger self who enjoyed candy in the purest of ways compared to my older self who has lingering eating disordered thoughts about candy (simultaneously wanting it and avoiding eating it).
Halloween was always one of those times I remember bonding more with my dad. He would get dressed up too. One time, he put on his military camouflage makeup and scared one of my baby sisters; she no longer recognized him with the makeup on. My dad taught us to say “trick-or-treat” before grabbing the candy and then “thank you, Happy Halloween” after grabbing the candy. He would hold our pillowcases of candy when they got too heavy for us and would point out fun decorations that our young eyes might otherwise have missed. Then, at the end of the night, it was fun to surprise our mom by trying to trick-or-treat at home.
For the last couple of years, I have taken my nephews out trick-or-treating, but this is the first year in a long time that I did not have that pleasure. My lack of Halloween plans made me sad, and I realized (almost) too late that I wanted to dress up my dog, Tatsu, in a costume. I told Ben as much, and, when we later went to the dollar store to grab a soda, he found a doggie tiger costume for me. The costume was at least a size too small, but it still brightened my evening. I brought my dressed up dog to my parent’s house to help hand out treats.
My parents had a total of two trick-or-treaters in the time I was at their house. A couple years ago, they had so many they ran out of candy by 8 pm and had to go buy more, but our neighborhood was not very active on Halloween this year. It was too bad we did not have more Halloween activity, but the kids who did come to my parent’s house very much enjoyed Tatsu’s tiger costume and wanted to touch his beard. The best part about going to my parent’s house for Halloween though was reminiscing about Halloweens past; it was nice to revisit the memories with them.