It was my during my music therapy internship that I realized I would have to get over my grudge against Halloween. If I wanted to work with kids, I needed to just accept October 31st as a day that is, to them, right up there with Christmas.
Even as a child, I wasn’t a fan of Halloween. I didn’t like the creepy decorations, the pressure to choose a costume, or going door-to-door asking for candy (although I didn’t mind eating it later). But as an adult, I put my personal feelings aside and wrote numerous songs devoted to Halloween.
Over the last 10 years, I’ve sung about orange and black, all the candy we’ll eat, and jack-o-lanterns with conviction, and I bet none of my students ever guessed that I didn’t love Halloween just as much as they did.
Of course, it only makes sense that I have two children who have an especially deep love for this “holiday”. My son Parker started really getting into it at the age of 2, and he has since passed his enthusiasm on to my daughter Mia.
At first, I resisted. My mother-in-law would drop off Halloween decorations, and I would discreetly hide them before my kids noticed (I know, what a mean mom). My husband was the only one of us who allowed Halloween music in the car and Halloween shows at home, and I skipped out on as many Halloween-themed activities as possible.
But you know that old phrase, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”? After awhile, that just seemed easier than keeping up the resistance. My family was going to continue loving Halloween, no matter how much I protested, so I might as well enjoy THEIR joy.
I’ve come a long way since last fall. This year, there are Halloween decorations in and outside the house (thanks of course to my mother-in-law), I’ve given in to some of the age-appropriate shows on Netflix, and over the weekend, we went to Fright Fest at Six Flags.
We left before the nighttime scariness started, but we did get a big ol’ dose of Halloween a week early. It was so much fun watching my kids go crazy over it all; so much so that we are actually considering a Halloween-themed Disney cruise next year. We’ll see…
As a young music therapist, I learned to tolerate Halloween in order to sing about it with my students and clients. But as a mom, my kids have upped my tolerance to the “like” stage. I’m still learning to love it, but who knows, maybe I’ll get there someday.