Family Matters. Are you kidding? Column # 5

I’m going to rat myself out this year and admit that I absolutely hate Halloween. I hid this fact as best I could from my kids in their childhood years, and I’m proud of myself for doing so, but now that they are adults, I can tell them the miserable truth.

First of all, I grew up in the city, and have horrific memories of being leered at by the pervert up the street, scared out of my skull by a bully named Jacques who lived two doors down, and being chased by a rabid corgi for a block and a half. Plus the time my mom threw our candy out over a razor blade scare. It was ridiculous.

Secondly, I’m not crafty. I can’t sew, use scissors or glue. The best Halloween costumes I made for my children were sheets thrown over their heads. That worked when they were two. After that my son was a hobo until he realized how little effort that required. I did get creative one year and stuck a cowboy hat on his head. My daughter was Ariel once, only because I had a friend who felt sorry for her and made some fins. My neighbour up the road was a Halloween wizard. Her daughter always looked like a perfect My Little Pony, Polly Pocket, or Cabbage Patch doll. I wanted to strangle her…not the kid…the mother. (I’m kidding, Judy.)

Living in rural Homeville meant you had to take your kids trick-or-treating in the car. I’ve been stuck in a few ditches in my time. When my kids were older they would run around the darkened streets of Port Morien with their friends. I was the mother who hid behind bushes to make sure they were safe, which was clearly a mistake. I have a lumpy ankle to this day.

Halloween and the teenage years were fun. “Who are you going with?” “How are you getting home?” “You will wear that French maid costume over my dead body!” “Bring back those eggs!”

Thank goodness their father was the one who carved pumpkins with them. They’d still be waiting if I was in charge. The seedy slime makes my skin crawl. (Not really, but I had to tell them something.) And let’s not forget the year that their father and I became reckless and ate a few too many of the good treats out of their bags after they went to bed. You’d think we murdered someone! They still talk about it!

The only thing I ever liked about Halloween was that I had a lot of crap to put in their lunch boxes for a few weeks. Nutritionally it was a disaster, but it made my morning easier. Perhaps if I’m a grandmother, the love of Halloween will come back to me. Their parents can do all the hard work and I’ll get to take pictures of the world’s most beautiful babies and post them on Facebook!