Halloween with a Big Kid {When They Outgrow Trick-or-Treating}

Halloween with a Big Kid {When They Outgrow Trick-or-Treating}

I am that mom.

You know the mom. The mom that does ridiculous things to her kids all for the sake of a picture. I’m not even ashamed of it. In fact, I embrace it.

Check out those times I shoved my kids inside pumpkins, y’all. Five years after the first picture was taken, I had myself a cute little Facebook banner.

And I’m not alone out there. I know many of you are that mom too. Maybe you didn’t shove your kids into a goopy, slimy hollowed out squash, but maybe you dressed them up as Cupid on their first Valentine’s Day. No? Just me? (For my child’s sake, I will not circulate that one for the public masses.) But his cute little tush and rolls upon rolls were adorbs. Trust me.

I love Halloween for this reason.

My kids dress up in costumes and Mama just asks for one good picture. Just one. Ok, maybe two. Or, probably several so I have choices.

When the boys were young, I didn’t really give them a choice on what to wear for Halloween. James was 2 and Leyson was 3 months, and I knew my toddler wouldn’t keep a costume on anyway. So I dressed him up as Charlie Brown in a soft t-shirt and shorts, my infant in a red and blue striped onesie. I didn’t get my picture that year, because … toddlers … but oh, they were the cutest! We even dressed the dog up as the Flying Ace, aka Snoopy. She posed for my picture.

Alas, gone are they days where I can just pick their costumes.

I try – really try – to be a good mom and let them choose what they want to be for Halloween. But it is just so much cuter when our family’s costumes all coordinate! The last year that I was able to use mom-nipulation (mommy manipulation, it’s a super power), I managed to convince my oldest to dress up as Peter Pan, my middle son chose to dress up as his favorite Jake and the Neverland Pirates (Sure! That works!), and my little pink one as Tinkerbell. My mom-nipulation was on point that year!

Photo Cred: Barefoot Photography

There were a few years where I lost the costume battle. Ninja, ninja, witch. Meh. How about some originality, kids?

I thought it was all over, until… Last year we took the kids to see a special anniversary screening of The Neverending Story in the theaters. My oldest had the idea first, “What if we dress up as characters from The Neverending Story this year?” Atreyu, Bastian and the Childlike Empress. Oh, I was more than just a little giddy. I was thrilled! So I set to work, gathering costume pieces off of Amazon.

And I got my picture. Two, actually.

Epic.

However, I knew Halloween night that it was my last year of costumes with all three.

As soon as we went Trick-or-Treating, I saw it in my son’s face. He’s outgrowing this.

When we arrived at our friend’s house (we live in the country, so we have to drive somewhere else to Trick-or-Treat), my oldest was suddenly self-conscious about his pieced together, tea-dyed, pants-two-sizes-too-big costume from a movie his friends had never seen. The bigger kids his age were all running around anonymously under masks. Though dressing up as Atreyu was his idea, he suddenly did not want to be dressed up as him anymore. He walked with us, but did not go up to get candy from each house. I realized that would be our last year Trick-or-Treating together as a family.

It’s hard watching our babies grow up. A holiday that we used to all be so excited about will be different this year. Having a big kid changes these things. My picture will look a little different, too. My son just wants to pass out candy. And I will let him. But I will be a little sad about it, too. My husband and I will probably take turns going door to door with the other two, but one of us will stay behind with my oldest.

This is my first small taste on what it will be when my kids go off to college. Dramatic much? Absolutely. But that’s how quickly they grow up. The time is inching nearer and I’m already not ready to have big kids.

So this year, I’m determined to make Halloween fun for him, even though he won’t be dressing up and going door to door. This year, I will teach him about the joy of making Halloween magical for the kids who come to get candy from him. This year, he will be the giver instead of the receiver. And you know what? Maybe this is a good thing. I can see him learning and maturing this Halloween. I may even let him choose what candy he gives out – as long as it is something that I love so I can eat the leftovers.

What has been your favorite costumes for your kids over the years? What will you miss most when they no longer want to dress up? We would love to hear from you!

Mom-nipulation: she wanted to be a troll from Frozen. So, I showed her a much cuter troll and she decided to be that instead. 

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