October 31, 2010


My daughter loves Halloween. I am not a huge fan.
Talk of Halloween starts in the summer around here and my insides start to groan, although I smile and listen. And sure, I have helped the children with costumes, went trick or treating, even hosted parties over many years, but never really embraced the holiday. 

One year I left all the Halloween decorations in the box in the basement... oops! Noone commented until afterwards. But that happened in our new house, so in all fairness, maybe we didn't know where the box was.

This year was different for me. Halloween still isn't my favorite but it IS to my daughter. It matters a great deal to HER.  Her eyes light up while she tells of her plans and how she will decorate for her annual party. And then it hit a ton of bricks, it is said. 
When you love someone you support them and their passions, and as a mindful and unschooling parent you most certainly do.

I started looking at it in a new way. . .  Halloween as her passion, as her interest, and like everything else, I encourage and support and help when needed. 
In simple terms I embraced Halloween.

We talked non-stop of her plans and she made many lists. We went to the library and poured over books and put bookmarks in all the crafts and recipes we were going to make for her party. It became exciting.
She took complete control and went to task and I was there as her sidekick to help with whatever needed to be done. Her energy was contagious and I began to enjoy myself, not so much because I love Halloween but because I love my child.

She insisted on a graveyard in the front yard which looked pretty spooky come nightfall. The graves did have to be supported a bit extra with dowels hammered into the ground and wire
around the gravestones to stand up to the wind, and it worked.

She hosted a pumpkin carving gathering the week before so the pumpkins were all ready to be lit and some party goers got to know one another a bit more.

She LOVES to decorate with streamers, no matter the occasion, and with a ladder and some duct tape she went to work. It looked terrific!

She is a huge fan of spider webs and webbed up everything. . . 




and lampshades.

She painted paper mache skeleton heads from a craft store and added them to the mantel.

Other touches were added around the room . . .the cat, of course, jumping into the pictures :)

We made large ghosts for the six front windows looking out onto the graveyard, inspiration from theMartha Stewart Halloween book.

She made Owl Cupcakes ! Directions here.

She got dressed . . . 

and was ready to greet her guests.

A spooky time was had by all!

Our week was so busy. We didn't make and do all the recipes and crafts we had bookmarked but it was fun looking and deciding. We didn't buy everything we wanted but it was fun browsing and shopping. 
We were two people with a common goal who were excited and interested. . . my daughter because she absolutely loves Halloween, and me mostly because I love my daughter. But I have to admit, I think I am already looking forward to next year. I'm  thinking about a candy hunt in the woodlands along a path lit with jack o lanterns.

When we, as parents, allow ourselves to be open to our children, to embrace what they are interested in, it enriches both our lives. We become closer to our children and they begin to share more of themselves, their wishes, hopes and dreams, and when we listen and become actively involved in their passions we show them they are valued, every single bit of them.
It is love in action.

                            happy Halloween!


Let the Children Play said...

I love this post :)

Phyllis said...

I love this post. It is so touching and beautiful. My chilren have taught me this lesson as well. It is amazing how much our children can teach and stretch us. That was an absolutely lovely party. My favorite picture is the one of her going to greet her guests. Thanks for sharing this all with us.

Laurie said...

Looks like a fun time and the decorations/crafts were awesome and spooky! Love how you both enjoyed doing it together! Such a beautiful post!

Sarah said...

Loved this post! Looks like it was so much fun and she did a *lot* of work!

Motorcycle Accessories said...

This was an absolutely charming. My favorite is their game to accommodate its guests. Thank you for sharing this

Beth said...

This is very thoughtful. I can identify with your lack of excitement about Halloween, but you embraced it as a favorite holiday of hers, and looks what she did! Wow! She went all out! The decorations look great! love, Beth

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

Everything you said is so true and is what I have learned over the years as well. Embracing your children's passions can lead to a more passionate feeling for whatever interests that may not be yours to begin with. I also had no compulsion to celebrate Halloween. It was my least favorite holiday and I couldn't figure out the charm in any of it. Then I watched my kids get into making costumes from nothing but thrift finds and stuff they find around the house. They decorate everything in sight and once even made their own haunted house in the garage and had their friends over to go through. Their imaginations ran wild and I couldn't believe how clever they were with their ideas and bringing them to fruition. They worked hard, were extremely creative and focused and had a ball doing it. I am now a fan and watching my kids bring it all to life was the key!