When I was a kid, I liked dressing up. I liked getting candy. I even liked the change of having Halloween parties at school (I hear a lot of schools don’t do this anymore.) I liked the crafts, and the baking. I was excited for the day, just like most other children.
When my son was young, I would dress him up and take him out, too. He didn’t quite get the concept of pretending to be someone or something else – he was never anyone but himself – but he did like going out to get candy.
He didn’t really like candy much, or chips… he did like chocolate, but not a lot of it; he did like collecting the candy, however.
I was never into spending money for Halloween decorations. I liked having a pumpkin. I liked carving the pumpkin. I especially liked pulling out the gooey insides, and separating out the seeds.
For all of my sensory defensiveness, I do like putting my hands in things with gooey textures. Pumpkins, Goop (corn starch mixed with water), finger paints, gel, shaving cream artwork, play-dough, clay… I like them all.
I like to see little children dressed up as ladybugs, teddy bears, flowers… it is very cute, and I love their expressions, and enthusiasm over the holiday.
However, now that I am an adult, with a house of my own, I have found I don’t actually like Halloween.
I hate the doorbell ringing over and over, or hearing the knock at the door. Even if I am not the one answering it, it causes me distress to have the door opened so many times in one night.
I don’t like to have to smile and greet each child as they come through – there are too many.
I don’t like that we are either required to buy expensive candy to pass out (they complain with the cheap stuff, and that increases my anxiety – besides, what is the point?) or to hide.
For the last several years, we have hid in our house through Halloween. We turn out all of the lights, and spend the night in a back bedroom, where I have moved the TV so we can watch a movie. I am afraid to even turn on the light to use the bathroom, or get a drink. I feel like a prisoner in my own home.
I don’t like that our routine has to be changed for the night. There is no way our dog will walk when there are so many children on the street – so we have to wait until they are done, which is about 3 hours after our normal walk time.
However, when Halloween is over, if we get to the stores on time, we can get discounted chocolate! And the following day, November 1, is my anniversary.
It is coming; it always comes. But thankfully it doesn’t last long. I will survive.