Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Conundrum

5-year old draws skeleton!

When I was in high school, I saw a video (in youth group?) about the origins of Halloween that scared the living you know what out of me. I fervently swore off all things Halloween- until the next Halloween, of course, when I donned my traditional gypsy costume and went begging for 3 Musketeers bars and Dots.

As I got older, I decided that my kids would be allowed to celebrate Halloween, but that we would keep the scary devil stuff out of the house. No witch costumes, no devil costumes, and no ghosts, darn it. I have fall decorations, but they are pumpkins and colorful leaves and stuff- no spider-webs or scary jack-o-lanterns.

The kids, however, have decided they LIKE scary. Ben spent a good portion of this weekend creating an extremely realistic looking skeleton. “It’s for my spooky closet!” he said. At this moment, his closet is adorned with one tall skeleton, one green alien, several scary jack-o-lanterns, and one forthcoming mummy. (“Mummies have bandages, mom, because they are dead.”)

Thank you, public school system, for disregarding my passionate stance against witchcraft and voodoo and spookiness in general. Example: Caleb brought home a Scooby Doo book last week. One character “put a curse” on the gang.

“What’s a curse, mom?”

"You know." I said. "Those words daddy says when he's having a bad day."

Scooby Doo has made me a liar.

So, I’m modifying my apparently not-so-stringent convictions about Halloween. Skeletons are okay. Spiders are okay. Friendly ghosts are okay. Mummies in closets- okay.

I will not let Daniel dress up like a witch, which is what he informed me he wanted to be for Halloween. First of all, I’m anti-witch, and second of all- witches are girls, man.

“Honey, you mean you want to be a warlock. Say warlock.”

I mean, what kind of hypocrite am I? I like The Wizard of Oz, Jimmy Stewart in Bell, Book, and Candle, and am a huge Harry Potter fan. If I clung to my hardcore anti-spooky stuff on Halloween stance, I’d have to give up a lot of other things, too. Like zombie movies and Bewitched re-runs. And I am loathe to give up my zombie movies.

I can just imagine trying to explain to Ben why he can’t draw skeletons:

“You see, baby- Halloween is a high holiday for Satanists and witches. There are these occult groups who all get together on Halloween night and sacrifice animals and worship Satan. Remember how our neighbor’s cat disappeared last Halloween? Yeah- I don’t think she’s ever coming back.

You know what? I have a better way to explain this to you. Come on, I want to show you this movie called Rosemary’s Baby. And while I set it up, let me tell you the story of a talented but troubled director named Roman Polanski…”

Parenting is just so hard. Good news: Ben will probably ace Gross Anatomy in med school.


Debbie said...

That is actually a fine rendition of a skeleton!!! (Better than I could ever do.) Pretty scary actually, but with a friendly face (??)! Good job Ben!

greenlizard said...

Oh, I so get you, Holly! I have this same issue EVERY halloween! I grew up not being allowed to trick or treat... but we let our kids do it now. And I say no to witches and scary stuff too... and doesn't Michael (he's 6) beg all month to be something scary. I'm letting him be Darth Vader. But no witches. And I am always wondering who among my church friends I can tell that we go trick or treating b/c many of them don't! So... we trick or treat and then take off our costumes and head over to church for the harvest party. Talk abt mixed messages. Thanks for sharing. Love it!