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A Year After Superstorm Sandy, Parents Are Super Excited To Celebrate Halloween

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shutterstock_156350633We were very blessed to escape the worst of Superstorm Sandy in our house, but even the best case scenario ruined Halloween.  My son’s school was closed all week, their Halloween parade canceled and never rescheduled.  We trick-or-treated in the building, but they didn’t get to show off their costumes outside because the city was on lock-down.  Many NY/NJ families experienced similar frustrations and there was a lot of recollecting this week on Facebook about last year’s Halloween mishaps.

Last year was the very first Halloween for one of my friends and her infant son and they made the best of it.

We evacuated to friends on the UWS. Unfortunately, the tiger costume for Connor’s first Halloween was deemed non-essential and didn’t make the 4 mile walk north. We ended up at my friend’s parents’ apartment, with a cobbled together costume we named “The Rare and Elusive GiRabbit” (we had the head of a rabbit and the bodysuit of a giraffe from old costumes). It was actually fun, and is a great story, but I am glad that my nephew can wear the brand-spanking new tiger costume this year, so it doesn’t go to waste!

The adorable daughter of another friend was old enough to know she was missing Halloween, but too young to really understand what was going on:

It was a total bust last year and so sad because it is one of my daughter’s favorite holidays. We could not trick or treat because wires and trees were down and it was too dangerous to walk in the streets. We still didn’t have power and so even carving pumpkins never happened.

We felt so bad about her missing the holiday that she loves so much that we tried to make up for it by having a big jack-o-lantern carving session at her birthday party a full month later (on Thanksgiving) and having all her cousins bring their Halloween costumes as a surprise for her. It helped, but it just wasn’t the same and she brought up the fact that “it was so sad when there was no Halloween last year” so many times throughout the year since!

She is SO excited to make up for it this year not just trick-or-treating but also at the Halloween parade at her school. We made a huge deal out of decorating our front porch for Halloween this year. She and her 2 besties next door are all going as Dorothy and they can’t wait.

Another friend had one of those perfect parenting moments this weekend, where instead of her son boycotting the costume he asked for (like mine does), he gave the family a beautiful moment of closure.

Last year we got Sebastian the Max costume from “Where The Wild Things Are” last year. He basically wore in in our refuge at the W Times Square when we relocated there after losing power and our burning quads from the 15 flights of stairs finally got to us. He wore it in the lobby of the hotel, but no one was really interested. Just loads of desperate people charging their phones and begging for rooms. Honestly he wasn’t really that into the book until more recently.

This weekend, seemingly out of no where, he was playing with a little wild thing figurine and declared that he wanted to put the costume on and read the book (no clue how he remembered he had the costume nor that Halloween is next week).

Oh god was I going to be able to find that costume?  Where did I put it?  Luckily I found it and he excitedly squirmed into it.  It mostly fit even though you could see his ankles (he’s grown like a weed in the past year!). But he loved it.

We read the book. We took some pictures. He even went to get bagels wearing it (such a New Yorker!).   I showed him the pictures I took later and he said “that’s not me mommy, that’s Max!”  Made me smile.

It was a fleeting moment that we could have never planned or forced, but one that I will always remember.  The ray of sunshine at the end of last year’s storm. Now we are all ready to move on — to Lightening McQueen.

The theme all around finds people grateful for the friends and family that took them in last year.  They remember the spontaneous makeshift fun they had, but they are also looking forward to celebrating Halloween after Sandy ruined last year – in their homes with their families together.  We are all thankful for those of us who have that opportunity. Our thoughts are with those families still putting the pieces back together.

(photo: Sunny studio-Igor Yaruta/Shutterstock)