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hometown Halloween

We hit the sweet spot with last year’s Halloween celebration. Munchkin was obsessed with The Three Little Pigs for most of the year. Dressing up as the little pigs to his bad wolf was an easy win, and the wolf costume S’s mom made for him got plenty of use before and after the holiday. This year, Munchkin’s tastes have evolved too fast to keep pace.

By the time S’s mom had completed his dragon costume, he had moved on from How to Train Your Dragon, cycled through Paw Patrol and PJ Masks, and has become obsessed with Batman and other more “adult” superheroes. Still, the prospect of a candy hoard from trick-or-treating was ample motivation for him to don his fluffy dragon gear. We followed suit: Junebug in her dragon wings and us in our Viking hats. Our neighborhood was fantastic for trick-or-treating, with many of the neighbors putting up extensive decorations. Junebug also had a blast, grabbing handfuls of candy and shoving them into her mouth, wrappers and all.

After the limited overseas Halloween celebrations the last two years, Munchkin experienced a wider gamut of holiday traditions this year, including decorating a gingerbread house with his new best friend, who lives two doors down, and carving pumpkins. The latter was also a first for D, who has long resisted Halloween but has found himself becoming increasingly more involved in the holiday in equal proportion to Munchkin’s excitement for it.

The little man was psyched to make jack-o-lanterns, but that was partly because he had not fully understood the meaning of the term. He helped with the carving, but was a bit freaked out when D turned off the lights and put the candles in. Our neighborhood’s aggressive squirrels savaged the smaller pumpkins within hours. We salvaged what remained — a big pumpkin eating a smaller one — and D offered to place the jack-o-lantern in Munchkin’s room in lieu of a night-light. He adamantly refused, and the pumpkins migrated to our bathroom.

The holiday this year coincided with Munchkin’s newly acquired awareness of mortality. A few months ago he started asking questions about death and what happens to people when they die. D’s matter-of-fact responses appear to have done little to assuage his worries, so nowadays he follows each question about death by telling us that he wants to remain four-and-a-half so that he does not die. Of course, he also frequently tells us that he wants to grow up so that he can get money and buy stuff — another awareness of the real world we are still learning how to handle.

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