Misery-Proof Superheroes

This October’s weather has been an absolute misery. Well, in recent weeks, anyway. It’s been cold, and rainy, and damp. Here and there we have had a nice day or two, but until this week we had about a week and a half without seeing the sun.

But we started the week with three days of semi-warm and kinda-sunny weather. I even took That Girl to the park one day after school (although it was still pretty cold, let’s be honest.) And now, today?

Well, given that today is the one day all autumn that most everyone, and especially children, want to be outside — you know, HALLOWEEN — well, OF COURSE it’s damp and miserable once again. They’re calling for high winds and buckets of rain this evening. And judging by the view from my window of the blowing leaves, it’s a chilly northwest wind.


I hate it when Halloween has lousy weather. Everyone goes to such lengths to decorate their houses, building graveyards and hanging decorations and making scary haunted houses, and then it rains and nobody can enjoy them. Or you go to lengths to get exactly the perfect costume and then? It gets covered up by a coat or a raincoat or ruined by the rain.



I mean, it’s alright for me. I get to stay in and distribute candy this evening. But on rainy days, fewer kids are out, and definitely fewer of the wee ones. They’re my favourites, all not knowing what to say and stomping right into your foyer and sticking their fists into the bowl of candy. There’s nothing as funny as a tiny superhero or pumpkin seeing the bowl of candy and just GOING FOR IT. Or, even funnier, making a dash through the foyer to chase Duncan the cat up the stairs.

Duncan loves Halloween. He loves to watch the kids through the front window. (One year we had some of them convinced he was really a dog in a cat costume. Sheesh, kids are gullible.) But even he will be a little more restrained, when every time the door opens a blast of cold wet air will come rushing in.

It’s worse for Stinkerbelle and BDH. They have to tromp about in the cold and rain, getting increasingly chilled and miserable, and no amount of excitement or candy or scary decorations can beat back that seeping cold. It gets right to your bones. BDH has plans to dress up as a knight to protect Stinkerbelle’s magical princess, but I fear he may ditch that in favour of a warm, dry coat.

But That Girl, she has been waiting to be a princess for weeks. She’s been so excited and repeating again and again all the things she is going to wear with her princess costume — fancy shoes, tights, necklace, crown, fancy dress, wand. And sadly, it will be too cold and to wet to go without a coat, so all those lovely things will be covered up by a layer of winter wear. The shoes will have to be left behind in favour of boots. And then to top it all off, she’ll need an umbrella.

Well, she loves her umbrella, so maybe that will be some consolation. Unless, of course, it is too windy and the potential for breaking is too great, and then even it will be left behind.

How can you be excited and joyous about a holiday when the weather is like this?

I remember the disappointment of rainy Halloweens, and nights when it was too cold and my father insisted on a winter coat that obscured my costume, and nights when it flat-out snowed. But I seem to recall that, even though I was angry about nobody getting to see my costume, or feeling my extremities getting numb from the cold, or trudging around in a sodden costume… I still remember it being exciting and fun. I still loved Halloween, and there was never enough candy, and no amount of cold and wet and misery to keep me from trying to get to just one more house, just one more candy bar or bag of chips.

And thus it is that we, the adults, learn to suck it up and do our part. Because we don’t think like kids, and we don’t have that impenetrable cloak of excitement and anticipation to keep us warm and dry and happy in the miserable weather.

Tonight we’ll have legions of small festive superheroes in misery-proof costumes and capes, conquering house after house with their cries of trick-or-treat and fuelled by candy and sheer holiday excitement.  And hopefully we can bask in their warmth and joy, to help beat the chill and remind us what it was like to be small and feel invincible.