Halloween: Sith Lords of the Past & Pirates of the Present

I have a secret.

Promise you won’t tell?

I love Halloween.

I always have.

At age five I had this hideous rubber witch mask for Halloween. I used to put it on and terrify my younger sister for years afterward.

Sorry, babe. I was five.

Why did they put Vader's face on the chest portion, instead of what should be there? It never made sense even to my 7 year old self. Notice the long sleeves beneath the costumes here? Not required in Texas.

At age seven, I reveled in the power of the Dark Side in what would be the last store bought costume I would wear for over twenty years.

You have no idea how jealous I am of how much cooler the Darth Vader costumes are now.

Years of make-your-own costumes passed.

I was The Bandit who was ballsy enough to pretend to stick up the patrol car making rounds. Luckily I was only eight or nine.

I was the 80’s rocker with day-glo sprayed hair capable of making you high from the fumes.

Homemade Halloween costumes

Enter twenty years of "if you want a costume, you create it".

In high school I wore regular clothing as I knocked on doors, calmly explaining to “Where’s your costume?” inquiries with, “I’m a homicidal maniac. Didn’t you know we look like everyone else?”

By the time I graduated college, I missed the ancient ritual of trick-or-treating myself so much I donned a sweatshirt from my alma matter and went to my neighbors as a college student, explaining I really just wanted to introduce myself because I’d bought a house there just a few months before.

Which was true.

But I really missed the candy, and it was one of the few years a heavy jacket was not required.

The Halloween’s of the past are shrouded in many years of cold wind, freak snow storms, and most costumes rendered unrecognizable thanks to the frigid weather and the multiple layers required.

No wonder I never wanted to be a princess.

When I moved to Texas, I was surprised and delighted to see parents dress up as they trick-or-treated with their children. No one did that in Iowa – it was just too much work for  a costume no one would see.

Once my son reached trick-or-treating age, I was equally shocked to see how many people dressed up just to hand out candy. This also did not occur in the frigid north, where you shut your door as fast as possible because you have to wear gloves just to answer it.

My pirate costume had a hidden dagger.

I decided I had to have some type of pirate weapon and chose one I did not have to carry. It just seemed wise when trick-or-treating with a 4.5 year old and 2 year old.

Here, people will sit in their driveways (myself including before I became one of the parents making the rounds) and watch the parade of costumes.

Where princesses don’t have long sleeve turtlenecks beneath their paper thin dresses and you can only tell it was Batman because his winter cap is pointy.

This year I decided I was tired of trick-or-treating as an exhausted mother.

I bought a costume.

I rocked it.

Because while there is nothing like trick-or-treating as a child, there is something even more magical about trick-or-treating with my children.

The high octane energy of my four and half year old realizing trick-or-treating is imminent so he nearly strikes out on his own because the lure is so great.

This greatly hinders capturing a good family photo or one with all of the kids.

The first family photo in a year.... and it's Halloween

Both children did not want to sit still - they were ready to go.

Watching my two year old daughter brave the scary monster for candy while the normally fearless big brother keeps his distance.

Too young to be scared on Hallowee?

Lil Diva braves what her brother will not while trick-or-treating.

Getting the first taste of the new era where trick-or-treating moves into sprint mode as he learns from the older kids walking is such a three year old thing to do.

Viewing the Halloween decorations through their eyes and the delight it brings them.

Lil Diva finds the Great Pumpkin patch on Halloween.

Stopping to admire all of the pumpkins.

Hearing my daughter learn the magical words “tick-or-teat” to say at each house then following it with either a “pease”, “tank you”, or “you welcome”.  Or all of the above.

Seeing her eyes light up as she realizes her bag contains CANDY!

Dissolving into giggles as she occasionally substitutes “Iwancandy…. pease!” for “tick-or-teat”.

Waving good-bye to many of my friends, their kids, my four and half year old, and my husband as they splinter off in the warp speed group.

Reveling in the quiet of just me, one friend, and my daughter as I walk further than I ever had in previous years with my son.

Smiling as she charms so many people they keep saying, “You’re so cute and polite I just have to give you some more candy.”

Shock in realizing she out-trick-or-treated her big brother by adhering to the plan of “Slow and Steady and Following the Well-Lit Path Mommy Chooses Gathers the Most Candy”.

Seriously, she only had to be carried the last four houses on the way back to my friend’s house. I was amazed.

The night was helped by the most perfect 75 degree, dry air imaginable. Until the sun went down it was even a little warm.

I definitely wasn’t in Iowa anymore.

Here’s hoping next year is just as fabulous.

Which costume persona of mine to you prefer? Pirate or zombie?

performing Thriller as a zombie for Spooktacular.

I think the red glow really brings out my hunger for brains....




About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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13 Responses to Halloween: Sith Lords of the Past & Pirates of the Present

  1. Pingback: When Mommy Zombies Attack Superman | Dances with Chaos

  2. Oh you are rocking that outfit mama!! HOT STUFF!!! I like the pirate one the best. But your whole family is so darn adorable!! Thanks for sharing your pictures!

    • Thank you!

      Do you have any idea how many costumes I had to try one before I found one that actually fit? Several were close except for the whole “we think you are a foot shorter so the skirt doesn’t even cover you butt” style.

      I spent way too much but I plan on wearing during the Golden Age of Trick-or-Treating to get my money’s worth.

      Plus, I think I look pretty damn good.

  3. Oh I love this post. AND it made me sad. Because my days of making the trick-or-treat rounds with my kids are over…

    I remember when my children were two and four. They were Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. It remains my favorite Halloween, by far; and the cutest thing I’ve seen before or since. (Of course they were MY Neverlanders so maybe that’s why.)

    For years we didn’t dress up and then we met some couples who did put on costumes to walk the neighborhoods. For the past four years we that was the routine for our large group. And it was wonderful.

    This year, out of the blue, my kids said they were too old for us to join them.
    In fact, they were more interested in roaming in packs of friends than trick-or treating.

    Bill and I never even left the house.

    Don’t blink, Kelly.
    It’s that quick. I promise.

    • You made me run off to snuggle with my children while they’ll still do so.

      You are on the cusp of a new era, my dear: the “I Can Go Out to a Party and Dress Up and Drink Wine” era. Which sounds pretty kick ass too.

      But darn those 4 year old and 2 year olds are just so cute.

      I figure I have six years to bask in tag-along cuteness.

      And a lot of people dress up here to hand out candy. You could still do that. Incorporate the Iowa tradition of telling jokes or doing a trick (which I did before I rejoined the land of trick-or-treating) and it will be some fabulous entertainment. I promise.

  4. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    I like the Zombie costume, but then I love all things creepy on Halloween. I dressed up as a witch (not original but I rocked it) to walk my kids around. My husband went as a giant banana. And it was freezing here in Calgary. My fingers were numb. But we Canadians usually know how to do a costume so we can fit a coat under it. Trick or treating in warm weather would be such fun. You all looked awesome. I like CG’s hat.

    • I want to see a photo of you in costume!

      Perhaps you all should visit next October for Halloween. Even if it’s a “cold” one that means 55 degrees. Warm is 80… Last two years? 72 and perfect.

      CG totally rocked the eyeball hat. It was a huge hit at the Spooktaculars. My children also love it.

  5. You are sort of super sexy in both of them 😉
    We went trick or treating with our kids in Georgetown in DC this year since we were up North and loads of peeps were dressed up too – so cool. We didn’t because i had schlepped enough stuff for a two week trip as it was.
    But the time flies …
    I hope mine still want us with them for many years 😦

  6. I dress up to ToT with my kids, too, no matter how cold it is out.
    When they’re too old? I’ll dress up in my driveway to hand it out.
    When I’m a Grandma? I’m so going to go to their houses to take THEIR kids ToTing. Full costume, of course.
    I love it all, too. Mmmm….candy.
    The costumes are a toss-up, but something about the pose of the zombie get-up makes me hand my vote over that way. BEcause I don’t want you to eat my brains.

  7. Mercy says:

    Love the pirate one. Looks great. Unfortunately Halloween isn’t celebrated here in India so my kids don’t know what they are missing.It is probably better that way.

  8. Kathleen says:

    I vote pirate, but I’m not into the creepy scary stuff about Halloween. 🙂 I’m so terribly uncreative about things like this, I ‘m relieved I don’t have to dress up anymore! My husband was awesome. He put on a Superman T shirt under his suit and left it open while we made the rounds. I said I was going as a pregnant woman…that was costume enough! 😉

  9. Ixy says:

    Woot woot! You look smokin’ in that pirate costume. And I LOVE this:

    In high school I wore regular clothing as I knocked on doors, calmly explaining to “Where’s your costume?” inquiries with, “I’m a homicidal maniac. Didn’t you know we look like everyone else?”

    Sasha didn’t really understand what was going on this year (she’s 16 months old) – we dressed her up and handed out candy but it was too cold and she was too little to go trekking around for candy she can’t eat anyway. I’m really looking forward to dressing up and going out with her over the next few years.

  10. Love the costumes! You were allowed to spray color your hair? Nice!

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