Halloween, Part One

Mostly for the sake of The Grandparents.

Seraphina would have been happy to paint every squash under the sun.  Her second one had a beard, so it could “talk like Pop-pop”.

Considering the number of practical jokes they play on each other, I thought this was very trusting (and possibly somewhat naive).  Elijah had me do his, which was likely a safer bet.

It’s kind of ridiculous, the lengths my family goes to for Halloween costumes, considering the very short period of time they actually wear them.  But it’s kind of their thing, so I try to be supportive and enthusiastic.

For years now the older boys have been trying to convince me to let them go as something scary.  Traditionally our celebrations have always been more about the magic of the season.  We attend a mixed age party, where two of my children are the eldest of the bunch, and I don’t want to be the mother who brings the teens who scare the little ones, my own little one included!  Besides, who needs more fear and evil?


I feel like I’m daily coming face to face with the fragility of life and I’m heartsick over the woes of the world.  Surround me with images of joy, of honor, of love, of goodness.  There is enough horror and gore.  The earth doesn’t need anymore.  I don’t want anymore.  Real or pretend.

But Elijah finally wore me down,or more accurately, took advantage of my being too exhausted to argue…

Besides, a mother’s hang-ups probably shouldn’t dictate Halloween costumes.  I’m sure it must seem to my children at times as though I take everything to seriously.

Iain had plans to go as a very noble literary figure, brave and true.  I was secretly thrilled, thinking how handsome he would be and pleased too, in my motherly heart, over such a wholesome choice for my maturing man-child.

There were issues with a prop.  And since it’s perfection or nothing round about here, he made a last minute shift…

and went with a different kind of scary, as well as an easy last-minute costume and a cheap laugh. It was a whole lot funnier last week.

And dear, sweet, little Dobby!  Elijah really did a fantastic job with that mask.  When Galen saw these pictures he said, “Wait a minute, is that me?!?  It looks so real!”

I whipped up a quick hood with ears and we fashioned the rest out of an actual pillowcase.  As it turns out, what I learned afterwards was Steve’s favorite pillowcase.  How on earth was I supposed to know the man has a favorite pillowcase?!?

Just a little glimpse of the girls, as their costumes were quite involved and warrant a post of their own!













7 thoughts on “Halloween, Part One

  1. mamaashgrove

    Oooh the masks are wonderful!
    We are the same- O always wants to be something scary and i always try to find him down. Our youngest two are of course very sensitive, and other littles probably are too! This year he went as Kylo Ren from star wars, with the understanding that if Birdie looks even slightly worried over his mask, he’d not wear it. Thankfully she wasn’t phased….!

  2. Melody Post author

    I think in our case, seeing the masks get made and having that be a fun/funny thing that we were all working on together and seeing it progress over time, really helped our littlest one!

  3. Jasmine

    Such great costumes! I love them all but I’m especially excited to hear about the girls (my heart leapt when I thought I saw Mary Poppins!)

    It’s so tricky to navigate holidays like Halloween. We have some friends that embrace it all – the ghoulish and the gore – and we have others that avoid the holiday entirely. My daughter is 5 so this year we had several conversations trying to understand both points of view and figure out where we fall. I told her that it’s kind of like Christmas. At Christmas there are two ways to celebrate: Jesus/religious and Santa/presents. Everyone can choose whether they celebrate one or the other or both or neither. I said Halloween is similar. There’s the scary/spooky side, and the fun/candy side. And again everyone can choose. So far we choose only the fun/costume/candy side because a lot of the scary stuff seems a little bit evil (to her I said “mean”) and at 5 I don’t think she’s ready to sort all that out. Lord Voldemort is a perfect Halloween figure though and I love the masks. Well done!

    I also love seeing your house. Your kitchen is so cozy looking! I meant to comment on your post a while ago about lard that it is the absolute best for pie crusts. I am always disappointed when we have vegetarians for Thanksgiving because then I have to use shortening and it’s just not the same. Lard based pie crusts are so flaky and perfect, at least in my experience. I hope you find your perfect uses for it as well.

  4. Melody Post author

    The kitchen actually belongs to our friends! The host a Halloween party every year. We’ve been doing it for probably 12 years now. Every year I take pictures in their main living space, because it is so cozy and inviting. It’s truly one of my favorite places.

    The fathers in our little gathering hide lit jack ‘o lanterns in the woods and the kids go out after dark to hunt for them. At each pumpkin there is a pile of treats- one for each child. It is really a very special celebration. We actually divide up now, with little kids doing an easier hunt in the flower farm fields and big kids crossing a river and climbing trees and hiking out deeper into the woods. It’s a rite of passage to be permitted to join the older children.

    We’ve been making a lot of grain-free Yorkshire puddings with the lard and all of our fresh eggs. They are delicious. I have no hope for a nice pie crust any what way! Wah! Too many restrictions otherwise, but I have heard that about lard.

  5. Jasmine

    That Halloween hunt sounds amazing! Your children are going to cherish their memories of their childhood. We lived in the country and would drive into the nearest tiny town to trick or treat. Some of the old people would make us do a trick to get a treat – usually we sang a song or two while my mom had a cup of tea. It was so differs from the trick or treating stories my city friends would tell the next day but I feel we got the better deal. It was a lovely time of community rather than just consuming (although there was lots of that too!) your kids are lucky to have the life they do! I looked forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  6. Zena

    Your kids are incredibly talented! I had often wondered what the little kids thought of the scary costumes. In Australia it is only celebrated by a few in comparison to America. But we personally ike to celebrate all the holidays in a small way. My son is 9 now and wanted to look ghastly and my 3 year old dressed as a chicken. We had to drive around the streets to find participating houses in our small town but it was a lot of fun. We found three houses that really were in to it and one that had black and orange balloons outside indicating they had treats but no one was home. There were two houses that had colourful balloons on their post box and we were unsure if they were for a birthday party or halloween. Later a local told us they were participating. You see, Halloween is the wrong time of season for us in Australia because it is our Spring not Autumn so there are no pumpkins and people use balloons. You can see how it is a bit adhoc here. Elijah and that mask. Just wonderful!

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