Halloween 1988 I received the best treat one could ask for

Published 7:51 am Monday, October 30, 2017

I stabbed the knife down into the pumpkin and carved out my jack-o-lantern’s eye.

It was Oct. 31, 1988, and my 18-month-old son and sat at the kitchen table in my New Jersey home. His tiny bear costume sat a few yards away. It was adorable and it would be his first Halloween that I could walk him around and do some light trick-or-treating and I was terribly excited.

I was 37 weeks pregnant so I hadn’t planned on a costume for myself as I had just about enough energy to get dressed in the morning, never mind worry about donning an uncomfortable costume. No, this Halloween was all about my little boy.

Email newsletter signup

“Once we get his face carved, we can then dig up all the icky stuff inside,” I told him. He heard icky stuff and smiled.

The pumpkin was pretty big and I really had to dig in to get the mouth carved.

We had a good time getting the goop out. After, I cleaned off the seeds, through some salt on them and stuck them in the oven. It was bath time for my gooey son.

However, all my plans for the day quickly went to the wayside. Standing in the kitchen, my water broke.

By 4:30 p.m., my daughter, Amanda made her way into the world. My Halloween “costume” was a hospital gown and my son, Jesse, never got to go trick-or-treating that year. He instead, got to say hello to his new best friend.

Having a child born on Halloween has resulted in having to do some tricky party planning and very busy Halloweens over the years. While I didn’t mind having her “big” birthday parties a few days off from her actual birthday, I made sure we always celebrated her birthday on her birthday, which generally meant my kids had a ton of sugar every Halloween between the candy and birthday cake.

Most people who find out I had a child born on Halloween react with “Oh, that’s cool!” But not everyone has had that reaction.

One year, one of the mothers in a playgroup I was a part of at the time asked me if it bothered me knowing my child was a witch.

“Excuse me?”

“She’s born on Halloween. That means she’s a witch. You need to pray for her and not celebrate her birthday on that day.”

The only thing worse than the dribble that came out of her mouth was that Amanda heard it. She was about 6 years old and I had to spend a good bit of time reassuring my daughter she was not a witch (years down the road, when she was a teenager, that was questionable at times).

She’s turning 29 tomorrow and we will still do cake and presents before her five nieces and nephews, don their costumes and we all head out for some Halloween fun. We have two toddlers in the family this year who will be walking and ringing doorbells for the first time and we’re all very excited.

While I’ve delighted in having been with my young grandchildren every Halloween since they arrived into my life, Amanda was remained the best Halloween treat I could ever ask for and continues to be each and every day.