Halloween is a special time because the ordinarily terrifying becomes the acceptable. That which seemed grotesque and horrifying last month becomes fun and wholesome, even campy the next.
Over the past few weeks, my sons have shown me that they are at a prime age for getting involved in the enjoyment of the holiday. They have begun discussing how best to kill a vampire and what somebody else’s blood might taste like. My youngest son, two years ago, nearly refused to allow me to drive him home from Six Flags because my aging knees forced me to inadvertently rest in a spot along the scary Halloween parade path and subjected him to seeing a man in a werewolf costume. Yesterday, the very same boy was advising me on how to make our decorations scarier.
“The skeleton should be sitting on top of the coffin like he died while he was waiting to make sure the guy inside who got buried alive didn’t get out.” After some reflection, I decided it was a damn fine suggestion and went with it.
Even my sons’ toys have proven a window into the macabre this season. They and their friends have staged a massive zombie battle with their Lego minifigures over the last several days. They removed the heads and the occasional arm, equipped them with sticks, knives and swords and lined them up by the dozens to make it look as if they are advancing on the last remaining Lego brick stronghold of non-zombified minifigs. The still-headed survivors stand atop their base and use whatever firepower they could scrounge up to launch their final defensive.
Were it not for the time of year, I might be looking into psychiatric wards to check them into, not laughingly telling all of you about it. I would at least be locking my bedroom door while I was asleep and hiding all the kitchen knives.
Instead, I am proud of the horrific places their minds go. I comment, “Coo-ool,” at their massive Lego zombie army. I ponder along with them what it must be like to be a vampire and rely on the consumption of blood to live or be a zombie and constantly crave human flesh.
I have no problem with them being a little morbid. It’s fun for now. Just as long as they are over it when it comes time to prepare for Christmas, which, by the way, isn’t until the day after Thanksgiving, contrary to recent marketing trends. They have a solid month left to focus on severed limbs and gushing blood before I look for a good child shrink.