Taking Harper out for Halloween was a clear illustration about how different our childhood experiences are. We may have grown up on the same planet, but it's a very different world.
I have some really vivid Halloween memories. My first clear one is when I was only three or four. I remember going as Snoopy, or maybe it was Casper. Either way, I had one of those grocery store costumes with the plastic mask that is held to your face with a thin rubber band and two staples.
This year we dressed Harper up like a little punk rock girl for daycare. We took a lot of time to put on little tattoos and spike up her hair in a mohawk. Harper gets the benefit of our undivided attention, something that just wasn't possible for me (with two older brothers) to receive from my parents. But I'm not complaining. I didn't know the difference. And my childhood Halloweens were great.
After my family moved to Dallas, my elementary school would have Halloween parties each year. These later morphed into Fall Fun Festivals. I remember an early Halloween party when I was probably still in kindergarten or so. At the far end of the school, where the sixth grade classrooms were, the lights were dimmed, there was a small "haunted house" of sorts. And one class room featured a strobe light and Michael Jackson's Thriller video playing on a constant loop while the older kids danced. I couldn't wait to be in sixth grade! My brothers tried to take me through the haunted house. I got about four feet in, saw a teacher dressed up like a witch and wrested my arm free from my brother and ran out of there crying.
We picked up Harper after daycare and her hair was a bird's nest. It was terrible. We took her home and washed all the product out of it so we could get her ready for the main event. We were heading down to the Grove for their Halloween festivities.
Piggy Harper and Jason Daddy
Several stores were handing out candy to kids and there was a huge Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End DVD release event. We dressed her up in the cutest little pink piggie costume. She looked totally adorable.
Two little piggies
Piggy Harper and a mini Minnie Mouse
The Grove was a great option for us because we couldn't have gone trick or treating in our neighborhood. Most of the buildings around us are apartment complexes with secured entrances. And most of the residents living around us do not claim English as their mother tongue. Unfortunately, Harper will most likely never go trick or treating on her own. My parents used to let us go by ourselves and didn't think twice about it. I can't imagine sending Harper out into the night to go from door to door...ever. Even when she's in middle school, and all her friends are going together, I'll be very nervous. I'll probably just dress up as Leatherface and follow them from a distance. You know, to make them feel safe.