Halloween From Both Sides

jack in space suitMom made me Halloween outfits. I don’t have a picture of the one where I was a bum, or maybe it was a clown. Yeah, it must have been a clown, since I had a switch in my pocket that would make my nose light up. Maybe I was a rummy. Who knows? One year I was an astronaut… maybe not, since that was in the 1950s; maybe I was a spaceman. At any rate, it was cool. She aluminum-foiled one of her hat boxes, and made me this golden suit.

I think she re-used the suit for another Halloween season. This time, I was either a Hasidic Jew or an alien. We didn’t live in a Jewish neighborhood – I was probably an alien. Also, the costume doesn’t seem that Hasidic.

Jack in disguise

I don’t have memories of my own trick-or-treating days. I’ll have to ask Mom if she remembers anything. I wonder what we did. Mike, my older brother, autistic, low functioning and nonverbal was living at home when I was growing up. I can’t imagine that he went out trick or treating with us. In our suburban area, growing up in the 1950s and 60s. He was so unpredictable. I wonder if he would have been welcomed at many of the neighbors’ doorsteps.

Things are different today. I have great memories of trick or treating with my granddaughter. She and her entourage (her Mom, Dad, Aunt, Nanna and me) made the rounds in a great neighborhood in which every house participated in the spirit of the season. Each house out-did the previous one in decorations. I reveled in the unrestrained fun Sidra was having.

Halloween is a safe scary time for kids. That’s ok by me. There is enough genuine scariness to be found close to home as well as in the world at large.

In a week or so, we will be visiting our grandchildren and will be there for William‘s first Halloween. I don’t know how much a six-month old can absorb from the seasons, especially the first time around, but we are looking forward to it quite a bit, and I’m sure he and his sister will have as much fun as the rest of us.

Grandson and Granddaughter at pumpkin patch

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