Until I had a child. Having Hudson changed my perspective on just about everything, and Halloween was no exception. Last year, Hudson was too little to understand anything about what was going on, so we didn’t go all out, but I was definitely already planning future Halloweens when Ed and I would decorate the front of the house, have snacks for Hudson and her siblings that included witches’ fingers and the like, make Halloween cookies with them, dress up to take them trick-or-treating, take them to haunted houses and hayrides and corn mazes, and help them come up with really clever costume ideas once they got old enough to think about those things themselves.
We had no idea that her first Halloween was the only one we’d get to spend with her, so I’m glad that the memory is a very happy one that we documented well with pictures.
The first part of the Halloween celebration was at St. Ann’s, her school. They had a Halloween party and asked parents to send children in with homemade costumes. Well, I’ve never been very crafty (see story above) and was stumped for what kind of homemade costume I could do for an 11-month-old. (I’d already bought her a monkey costume on sale but was determined not to send her in a store-bought costume if everyone else was going to be wearing homemade. I should have known better, or at least checked around with parents who’d been around this block already). In desperation, on the morning of the Halloween party, I cut the finger puppets off of one of her favorite books, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, and pinned them to the front of a pair of Carhartt overalls her Aunt Jess had given her. So that no one would be perplexed as to what she was, I also cut off the fabric title page and pinned it to her back. (I felt bad about cutting up her book, but as it turned out the cut-off finger puppets became favorite toys later on. I now keep the cat in a side pocket in my purse and touch it every once in a while when I think of her.)
Here is the damning evidence:
Turned out to be sort of cute, but still totally embarrassing and totally reminiscent of the pathetic costumes I’d worn as a kid. (It was partly because of this that I decided Halloween would be a blow-out affair at our house in the years to come. My kid wasn’t going to be the embarrassed one with a lame costume!). I felt especially ridiculous when we got to school and saw TONS of kids in their store-bought costumes. Sigh.
As I mentioned, I’d already bought Hudson a costume before the homemade idea was made clear to us. Originally, we were thinking about a turtle costume, but as I’ve said before, although Hudson was “the turtle” while she was in my belly, she was not very turtle-like when she emerged. She was so much more like a monkey with her playful ways that I always called her “little monkey,” so a monkey costume seemed much more in order. She sported the costume to a Halloween party hosted by a member of our Brookland moms’ group. Halloween was particularly warm last year, so I spent most of the day worried that she was too hot inside all that stuffing.
But what a precious little monkey she made. Forgive all the pictures, but I know you parents understand the dilemma of trying to weed out photos that look alike. Her smile, her gestures, the embraces—each is just different enough that you feel it’s worth sharing several photos of the same general subject matter.
(She loved, loved, loved this rocking horse. She was rocking on it like she’d been doing it since she the day was born. It is still one of my biggest regrets that we never got one for her to play with at home.)
My sweet girl. My little monkey. How I wish you were here with us to go trick-or-treating with your buddies this afternoon so everyone could ooh and ahh about how adorable and precocious you are. How I wish you were here so that we could have scooped out pumpkin guts together and made a mess making jack-o-lanterns. How I wish you were here so we could have spent the afternoon spreading sticky icing on Halloween cookies and getting it all over ourselves. How I wish you were here so I could see the expression on your face when you tried a piece of candy for the first time.
How I wish you were here.
I miss you so much, my girl. These pictures and sweet memories of you with me and Daddy are my One Good Thing on this sad, sad day without you.