As we frantically and anxiously start the new school year, I’ve already projected my anxiety further into the future.
I recently stumbled into the local dollar store to quickly grab silly string for my kids. To my surprise, the new seasonal decor was being placed on the shelves. The beach chairs and sunscreen have come down, and all things Fall have suddenly gone up! I couldn’t stop myself from gravitating over to the small display of pumpkins. Like most southern women, the sign of fall coming gives me an immediate sense of comfort. Cooler weather, warmer colors, light sweaters, ankle boots, and the smell of pumpkin spice in the air is something I look forward to all year. I naturally smiled the second I placed a tiny glass pumpkin in the palm of my hand. Almost as soon as my smile appeared, a flood of nerves ran through my body causing my smile to quickly disappear. It was one of the few times I was glad my mask covered my mouth to hide my counteractive facial expressions. My heart started racing, and my overthinking brain started speeding in circles like the Indy 500…
“Will there be a Halloween this year?”
I know the weather we look forward to all year will still come around. I’m sure we’ll decorate our houses with ghosts, goblins, and broom-riding witches. We’ll buy pumpkins to carve and watch Hocus Pocus daily. We’ll buy our children matching Fall-inspired pajamas, and we’ll send in personalized Halloween treats for our children’s classes. BUT… is that where our celebrating stops? Disney announced a couple of months ago that Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party would be canceled. Universal Studios followed suite a few weeks later, officially canceling their event, Halloween Horror Nights. Even hearing about the shut down of those festivities, it never sank into my mommy bones that… Halloween might be canceled for my kids, too. Will Boo-At-The-Zoo be next to cancel? Will City Park’s Scout Island be able to return? Will kids be able to visit local pumpkin patches, roaming about, and picking out their special little pumpkins? Will all the elaborate Haunted Houses not be able to open up? Will all the highly anticipated Fall Fests throw in the towel as well? I couldn’t wrap my head around all these painful assumptions that my overactive mind was pulling from thin air. Then, like a ton of bricks, it hit me…
…will they cancel trick-or-treating?
They tried to once before. Or rather, they wanted to “reschedule it,” when the predicted weather wasn’t looking too pretty. It was five years ago, do you remember that? So, what’s going to stop them this year? How would they be able to crowd control a night where kids run rampant, going from house-to-house, and digging their dirty little hands into different buckets of candy? Will we have to just incorporate a mask into a themed costume and sanitize their hands after every treat? Will neighborhoods be forced to just leave buckets of candy on their porches instead of personally handing it out to each individual child? Will families even want to open their doors for the hundreds of kids they normally expect to see every year? Will we have to figure out a drive-by type situation much like so many did for birthday celebrations? I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer or Negative Nancy. It’s just if 2020 has taught me anything thus far, it’s … always be prepared to be let down. It’s hard not knowing what’s going on day-to-day, but it’s even more defeating to plan something special only to look forward to it not happening. As we’ve experienced over the past several months, nothing is promised. I’m just tired of trying to look forward to something only to have it canceled, postponed, or shut down. I want to look forward to something that may have a little normalcy to it. I’m trying to prepare myself for worst-case scenarios. I’m trying to psych myself out before I let myself down. Telling myself Halloween is inevitably “canceled” much like Easter is just my way of coping with this whirlwind of a year. However, if certain exceptions don’t go as planned, we can still have our own version of Halloween 2020.
As mothers, we’ll make the most of it.
We’ll think of something, somehow, and someway to make Halloween exciting and special! We’ll put on a show, a smile, and tap dance down the red carpet that our children roll out for us. We’ll get dressed up, do our makeup, take selfies, and hand each other candy inside the safety of our own homes. We’ll make pumpkin-shaped cookies and sing “This is Halloween, this is Halloween” for the hundredth time. We’ll tell ghost stories while roasting marshmallows. We’ll still have fun, and we’ll still laugh. Planning ahead to make the most of what we are given is what us moms do best. It assures not only our children but ourselves, that WE’VE GOT THIS! Even though we (secretly) don’t know what we’re doing during this crazy time in our lives, we surely know how to make the memories count. Like everything else we’ve encountered and overcome so far, this is one more mountain we may have to climb. It’s also just another challenge we’ll conquer! This year is simply a different version of the years we’ve come to call “normal”. This year is a way to experience everything in a new light. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping Halloween goes down the way we plan. However, if there are a few hiccups along the way, I’m confident we’ll all get through it.
Hoping for a safe and Happy Halloween! Keep your head up high, and your hopes up higher!