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Halloween 2011 looked like this

Halloween 2011 showed me how holidays change as kids grow. It was Aidan’s 15th Halloween and the first she was elsewhere, uncostumed and not part of our happy roaming pack of candy seekers. It was odd and bittersweet. Instead, she volunteered to help with an event at her high school.

We still had 6.5 kids in costume. Here’s the 2011 rundown:

Teddy: Duck, which is a costume worn by Tommy, Joel, Beatrix, and Archie. I love that so many of our kids have waddled in that costume as young toddlers. The continuity of that small tradition helped make the day a bit sunnier.

Teddy wore the family duck, which was also worn by 4 older siblings


Archie was a giraffe. Sharp Lifenut readers may recall he was a giraffe last year. This year, he was supposed to be a green shaggy monster, but it scared him. I laid out every costume that would fit and he chose the giraffe. He’s a guy who sticks with what works.

Archie as Giraffe

I took Archie and Teddy to the mall to trick-or-treat and have lunch. Archie asked me to take his picture with everything and everyone who caught his eye.

Giraffe at Old Maybe

We went from the mall to the school where Ryley, Sam, Tommy, Joel, and Beatrix were having their class parties. Archie and Teddy got to party hop to 5 classrooms. It was great to see so many awesome and creative costumes.

Giraffes have an undeserved reputation as docile

The school parties nearly wiped us out. As we walked to the van, I turned to encourage a lagging-behind Beatrix to step it up. I was struck by the beautiful sky. Really, the weather could not have been more perfect. A few hours later, we were trick-or-treating without heavy coats!

Halloween 2011 was beautiful and mild

Beatrix decided who she wanted to be for Halloween months ago. She has long-loved a certain work of art.

Who is this lady in black?

Can you guess?

As she’ll tell you, she is the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo ‘Vinci.

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa...

Joel also decided his costume many weeks ago. I was all for it, as it was easy and I knew nobody else on planet earth would have the same costume. He was his school’s art teacher, Mr. W, who kindly lent a shirt he designed and wears. Authenticity!

Imagining all sorts of artsy things

But the real Mr. W wears shoes

Two years ago, Tommy was Charlie Chaplin for Night of the Notables. He thought Charlie deserved to be revisted, so that’s just what he did. Presenting, The Little Tramp:

Star of the silver screen

Comedy legend...

Mr. Charlie Chaplin!

At school, the 6th graders are working on a Roman Empire history unit, so they had to dress in togas and play Romanopoly. Poor Sam wasn’t a fan of wearing a dress, so when he came home from school I understood that he didn’t want to be some Roman dude for Halloween. He decided to be a fictional hero, Dr. Alan Grant of Jurassic Park fame. The book and the movie, yo:

Is that a spinosaurus in the distance?

He was so serious during the photo session because Dr. Alan Grant rarely showed levity with all that almost-being-eaten lifestyle. I tried to get Sam to laugh, but he stayed in character:

Dodging raptors is not a joke

The Halloween Hat Society

And then there was Ryley, who wasn’t in any photos and didn’t dress for school, either. He decided at the last minute (right at dusk) to be a Jedi, which meant dressing in black from head to toe. He wore our big black cape and carried a red lightsaber. Inspiration: I said he couldn’t go trick-or-treating without a costume. It’s tough being a 7th-grader. I assure you, he also looked awesome and had a blast trick-or-treating.

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