‘I used to dread Halloween. The costumes, wigs, the masks. Now it’s almost over. How did this happen?’: Mom with growing kids savors time with youngest this Halloween, ‘He’s still bringing the joy’

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“It seems like it’ll last forever.

There was a time when I dreaded Halloween. Holidays look like they’re made of magic, but if you are a parent they are actually legit hard work.

The choosing of the costumes, so much expense on a tiny budget for just a few hours. And the choices…oh, the choices. More thought went into what these children would trick or treat as than went into us choosing our first house.

But wigs were bound to disappoint. The Target Rapunzel wig never seemed to deliver on its promise to make you look like a princess, and instead made you look like yourself with a hat made of fake hair. Masks didn’t exactly portray Batman as he looked in the movies, and Ariel’s shoes were actually quite pinchy.

Someone inevitably changes their mind about what they want to be two days before, and someone else works right up to the wire, crafting a costume so crazy and so grand we all hold our breath waiting to see if it will be done by go time. It was, but they wound up with strep that year and never even wore the costume.

Then there’s getting kids off the bus and into their costumes each year, immediately, because bus arrival and trick or treating started at exactly the same moment. Why are special days so hard?

I didn’t rest until they were out the door and on their way with dad. I was left behind to dole out candy in peace…gearing up for the moment they would return, sugared up and exhausted, yet nowhere near ready for bed, despite school being the next day. It’s all a blur now and it’s yet another thing which is inexplicably almost over. How is this no longer a thing we do?

No gaggle of princesses, superheroes, Star Wars guys, or 80s girls are getting ready for the big day around here. And yet, a little magic hangs (also less hard work, it seems). This kid. He’s still bringing the joy. Since he’s the last one, he got the real Iron Man mask and the Nerf thing which shoots Iron Man darts, and isn’t even sold in the costume aisleit’s an actual toy.

Courtesy of Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Because it’s a pandemic and he’s the only one scouting Target for the perfect costume, he’s legit wearing it every day around the house, because (thank you, 2020) saving your costume for trick or treating isn’t even a thing this year. I’m so grateful for any scrap of magic we get right now, and this kid lounging around my house in this too-expensive mask is one.

The lasts keep coming and they give me fresh eyes with which to see the past. And, it turns out, it was all magic…that’s what we’re left with. The tears cried over the weird wigs and botched makeup are just funny stories now. We look back at their cuteness and the kids remember the fun of getting ready and the houses with the best treats.

It was all the best part, they say now. And so this year, we pour all we can into the magic for the one left leading us through childhood. Soon enough he’ll leave it, and we will no longer have passage there through him.

But we’ll have the memories…reminding us every minute spent living in this time with these people is magic.”

Courtesy of Amy Betters-Midtvedt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. Follow Amy on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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