I know I should probably write about the beginning of the school year, how the kids are adapting, the start of Fall, and all that important stuff that I want to archive. And I will. But for now, I want to talk about Jon and his sudden hatred of all things Halloween.
It all started last year. We were at my happy place – those who know me know I mean SuperTarget – and were wandering my favorite place in my happy place, the Halloween section. There was another family there who really liked the outdoor decorations. You know the ones – the creepy, loud, moaning, screaming, scary-music kind. So they were setting them off, over and over. And over and over and over. At a certain point, Jon couldn’t take it anymore so we left the area. I don’t blame him, really. It was super obnoxious and annoying. Nothing against those who enjoy that sort of thing. Some of my favorite people love the scariness of the holiday. But I’d bet they aren’t the type of people who will continually set them off in the store just for funsies.
Anyway, it was at that point, I think, that he decided he no longer likes Halloween.
Now this is especially difficult for me since Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. I don’t like scary Halloween. I like cute Halloween, like Teenie Halloweenies.
I like the non-scary decorations and the candy and the costumes and the fun. I like that Halloween falls during my favorite season, Autumn. And I like that it can be family-friendly.
Since Jon had decided he wanted nothing to do with any part of Halloween, including Trick-or-Treating (a travesty, if you ask me!), I decided to give him levels of Halloween based on potential scariness. Cute, fun, little kid stuff is Level 1. Slightly spooky but not scary stuff is Level 2… You get the idea. The ultimate scariest is a Level 10. Think SCarowinds, haunted houses, creepy-ass clowns, and all that stuff. Honestly, that gets a big NOPE from me, too. I hate horror movies and being scared. I’ll stick with the cute stuff, thankyouverymuch.
Jon would continually ask me if something was Level 1 Halloween, Level 2 Halloween, etc. We decided together that Level-1 and Level-2 were safe. Our neighborhood put on a trunk-or-treat Halloween night and I was finally able to get Jon to agree to go there in costume since we knew it was for the littlest kids and would be a Level 1. It turned out to be more of a Level 2, but that was fine. Seeing how tame it was, he decided he’d go around the neighborhood as well, but stuck close to us in case something scary happened.
And that was that. I thought he’d gotten over the sudden distaste for Halloween. Boy, was I wrong.
Something happened at some point that he has now decided he hates anything and everything about Halloween. Everything is supposedly terrifying to him. In August when Carowinds started prepping their decorations for SCarowinds, he decided he did not want to go to the park again until after October. Well, the only thing after October is Winterfest so he’s pretty much done for the season.
And now he doesn’t even want to go to Target. TARGET! How can you NOT want to go to Target?? Another travesty. But he’s terrified that they’ll have decorations all over the store.
To make matters worse, he saw some of my decorations in the garage and freaked out about that, too. Seriously!!! My cute little witches hats and owls and ghosties?? They wouldn’t scare a toddler! And here he is, my almost 13 year old, losing his damn mind.
It’s unbelievably frustrating. He’s gotten himself so worked up over the whole thing that it’s making it impossible to even say the word H-A-L-L-O-W-E-E-N without him fussing and hollering.
This lead me to two realizations. One, he’s gonna have a bad time come October 1st when I start decorating. Two, this means he probably won’t want to go with us to my parents’ place for our annual visit. They live in the mountains and we visit Granddad’s Apples for family fun, Linda’s Plants & Shrubs for their hay maze and to get our pumpkins, and sometimes go gem mining or to the kids’ hands-on museum. It’s a tradition that I love. And that makes me sad.
I don’t know how to help him overcome this sudden and irrational fear. Has it at this point developed into a true phobia or is he just overreacting for dramatic effect? It’s hard to tell with him. But I hope we can figure it out. Because I want him to enjoy the family-friendly fun again.
After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year.