To say that Munchkin enjoyed Halloween might be a bit of an understatement. The calendar has turned to November, but he has yet to cease celebrating.
As one might expect, there is no Halloween tradition in Rwanda – or, for that matter, in many other countries where we serve. Because the holiday is a touchstone of American culture, our embassies the world over ensure that Foreign Service kids do not miss out on the fun. The Ambassador hosted a haunted house at her residence one weekend, and the following weekend the Embassy organized trick-or-treating in one of the quieter neighborhoods where we have a concentration of Embassy houses.
With S out of town for a weeklong conference, D decided to skip the haunted house. Munchkin tends to be at his clingiest at large gatherings and, given the early evening start time, the event seemed to be geared more towards older kids. Perhaps because D immigrated to the United States late in his childhood, he has never really gotten into Halloween. Without S around to spur him to action, D preferred to spend the evening at home with Munchkin.
S returned in time to take Munchkin trick-or-treating on Saturday, and man, oh man, did he have a blast! He didn’t seem particularly interested in the candy per se (and we’re thankful that he hasn’t asked for it), but he loved being driven around from house to house in his flyer wagon and he definitely liked getting to take a little something at each stop and put it in his basket. He also enjoyed the spirit of the festivities, lilting “Happy Halloleen!” at each house. The next morning, D took Munchkin to a nearby coffeehouse for croissants, and he clearly wanted more: “We go to Halloleen, papa!” he insisted several times.
S’s mom handmade Munchkin’s fox costume and it’s already gotten more use than we had anticipated. On Monday, Munchkin’s school did a dress-up and pajama day, so he wore his costume to class. S nixed his attempts to sleep in it at home as well, but this morning he again insisted on wearing the outfit to school and we only barely convinced him to leave the tail at home.
Munchkin was too young to fully appreciate his first two Halloweens, but seeing how much pure joy he has derived from dressing up this time around makes us think that we need to recommit to the holiday and dress up along with him next year.