Oct 29, 2022

Close up of half carved pumpkin with a crooked purple bow and splattered red and black paint all over it.
Author’s Photo of “Pumpcasso”

This year, I had a pumpkin decoration plan. We’d paint a few early, then carve the rest on Halloween.

Silly me. Anytime I try to dictate my kids’ creativity, it backfires.

They wanted to stab their pumpkins, dig their hands in squishy guts, and slather their wounded gourds in red…

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Are pre-packaged Halloween costumes a waste of money?

Woman dressed up as Velma from Scooby Doo with kids dressed as Pikachu and Steve from Minecraft with a V for Vendetta mask.
Author’s Photo — 2021

Nope. Not in our house!

Dressing up has provided hours of enrichment — full of imagination and fun — for my kids.

It’s pretty much Halloween all year long in our house.

Here are a few of my favorite costume recycling sessions.

Getting ready for Easter dinner.

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It’s important to read Halloween costume labels.

Legends of Zelda Link costume package front with image of kid wearing green tunic and elf hat along with mustard pants, and brown boots. The package bottom right corner says “Toy sword, pants, and boots not included.”
Author’s Photo of Link Packaging

As soon as a pop-up Halloween store posts its neon banner, I’m there.

Luckily, my boys share in my enthusiasm, and we went to pick out costumes in August.

We opened the glass doors and the boys scurried to a creepy display. Within…

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A toddler with a knit monster hat stands in a sea bright orange pumpkins. He squats down to grab two pie sized pumpkins. To the left a grown up’s legs in jeans stands next to him.
Author’s Photo

As a child, pumpkin patches existed in Charlie Brown’s world, not mine.

Now, I can’t drive three miles from my house without passing one.

Is this a recent phenomenon? Or maybe a Midwest suburban thing? Who knows.

The first time we visited one, we allocated an hour max. We planned…

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Boy laying on the ground with a mock scared look on his face.
Author’s Photo

My kiddos love all things spooky, including a wholesome startle.

Recently, I discovered that “surprise scares” release happy hormones. I don’t need to worry that I’m scarring them for life–this is wellness!

Here are my 3 favorite scare tactics:

1. Skeleton Surprise

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OMG…I missed my doctor’s appointment!

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

Big deal. Happens to all of us, right?

Hmmm…well, it seems to happen to more of us than others.

I screwed up and didn’t record it on our family calendar, create an Outlook event, nor use a handy dandy post-it.

But, I’m not sure those…

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Maybe it’s ADHD.

Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash

Maybe not. And really…does it matter?

To me, yes.

My recent ADHD combined type diagnosis helps me decode a lifetime of confusing behaviors.

It helps me understand how the valedictorian left school during 7th period (we had 8), plopped on her couch with a bag of Doritoes…

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Adrienne Parkhurst

Mom. Wife. Writer. Editor. Healthcare Freelance Writer. Lifetime Learner. Flawed Leader. Sharing my life lessons through personal essays and memoirs.