I Was So Not into Halloween ... Until I Had a Baby

mother and child on Halloween
iStock.com/AleksandarNakic

I'm the first one to admit I don't like anything scary. I've never understood the thrill people get from haunted houses or horror movies. When I head to the cinema, there better be an adorable rom-com or gripping drama on the marquee. Anything with otherworldly creatures out for blood or maniacal chainsaw-wielding folks gets a hard pass from yours truly.

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Now that you know this about me, it should come as no shock that Halloween was never my thing.

Sure, as a young kid I enjoyed trick-or-treating (I may scare easy but, boy, do I have a sweet tooth) and carving pumpkins, but once I was too old for the whimsical aspect of the holiday, I was totally over it. Halloween simply became an annoying day between the end of summer and Thanksgiving that I had to tolerate.

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In my post-college days, friends thought it would be fun to throw grown-up costume parties, crafting elaborate getups well in advance. I would throw on a skirt and wrap sweater and call myself a ballerina. After gobbling a few fun-size chocolate bars, I was outta there.

But then it happened. I became a mom. And just like so many other things about life that change when you have a baby, I actually started looking forward to Halloween again.

Admittedly, I'm obsessed with baby milestones, and a first Halloween felt like a big deal. I also recognized early on that I needed to take advantage of the days when I could dress my sons in the costumes I thought were the cutest, not the ones they would inevitably ask for once they could, you know, speak.

That first Halloween as a mom I was determined to do all of the things. If there was a kid-friendly costume event, my little guy and I were there. I dressed him in an adorable plush duck costume. People thought he was a chicken but I didn't let that kill my buzz.

I even threw our own kiddie Halloween party, inviting what few baby friends my son had at the time. We watched lovingly as they clutched walking toys, fought over the activity table, and chewed on cloth books, all while dressed in ridiculous costumes. There was my little duckling, a cheeseburger, a cat, and a monkey. Life was good.

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Seven years and another baby later, I still throw that Halloween party. And while the activity table, cloth books, and duck costume are long gone (sniff), there's nothing quite like the excitement during this season of pretend.

It makes me feel like a kid again.

I may never be the mom who makes cookies that look like witches' fingers or gelatin with plastic eyeballs (seriously, gag), but experiencing Halloween through my kids makes the season sweet instead of scary. And that's all I ever really wanted.

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