I have never really been one for Halloween. I hate dressing up or fancy dress and the thought of going trick or treating with my son in the near future fills me with dread. Yep, I’m a party pooper.
I hadn’t ever come across Halloween until we returned to Ireland from South Africa when I was 9 years old. Later that year, as October the 31st drew near, all my classmates started talking about dressing up, going trick or treating and going to the bonfires. I was curious but once I found out what trick and treating entailed I thought “nope, not for me”.
At the time of my first few Halloween experiences there were very few real fancy dress costumes to be bought at realistic prices. Dressing up often meant a black bag as a witch’s coat/dress, a hat my aunts had bought us and a homemade broom stick which fell apart if it was raining on the night in question. Cardboard sucks when it gets wet! Or worse still an old sheet thrown over our heads and eye holes cut out. Now to some this may sound like fun but when you are 10, 11 or 12 and as shy as I was, it was embarrassing.
My younger sister was always keen to go out but I dreaded it, and being the eldest I was expected to take her, and then our other sister, knocking on neighbours doors. I’d let them go to the door while I lagged behind. I wasn’t bothered about filling my bag with treats.
Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s there were also very few givers of sweets. Plastic carrier bags came home full of apples, oranges and monkey nuts, something I’ve come to detest. If you got anything else in your carrier bag you were very lucky. The only redeeming thing about Halloween in my younger days was the effort my mum made to make bags of popcorn to give out alongside the fruit. The kids on our street loved her for it and so did we, even if she did make us help with the umpteen pots of popped kernels and then the laborious bagging of said popcorn.
I can be painfully shy at times and although my confidence has grown a bit as I get older, my shyness hasn’t completely left me. Take the time my sister-in-law held a Halloween party in her new house with her hubby to be. My hubby and I had only been seeing each other for almost a year and we went to enjoy ourselves and stay over. But it was fancy dress so I did the boring thing of fishing out my secondary school tie and jumper and teamed it with jeans and a white shirt. I brought a sparkly top with me and once everyone had arrived, and had a few drinks so that they no longer cared about the fancy dress aspect of the party, I promptly changed. I couldn’t stay in it all night. I just felt uncomfortable and very self-conscious.
My son is a few months off turning 3 and so far he has only had to dress up for the Halloween party in nursery or events they hold. Last year he went as a furry vampire, courtesy of a work colleague buying him a costume in Asda. For World Book Day I sent him in as Curious George and for the Children in Need day he went as a pirate as part of their pirates and princesses theme, all shop or Amazon bought costumes. A crafty mum I ain’t in terms of a sewing machine or needle and thread! But I was glad he was in that sort of a setting and too young to want to go around the houses last year.
However, I dread to think how we’ll manage if my hubby is ever away with work on the 31st of October in the future. I will most likely take our son out if he really wants to go but will be the shy parent sending him up the driveway while I hide behind the cars, hoping and praying those answering the doors don’t call out for me. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get over this dread of Halloween, I hope I do for my son’s sake. In the meantime I’ll get my hubby to take him out when he asks to go trick or treating in the future!
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Do you like dressing up? Do you love Halloween or hate it?