Autumn… Fall… Sweater Weather… I love this time of the year in Alaska. The warm colors, falling leaves, chill in the air, random snow flurries, lattes and hot cocoa fill me up with cozy sights and thoughts.

This season also brings wonderful celebrations, but there is one holiday I’d love to skip, Halloween.

Why? Our little Sweet Pea is filled with fear as the skeletons, ghosts, spiders, vampires, witches, gravestones, terror-filled masks and everything in between appear. It is the type of fear that’s connected to trauma, initiating a fight or flight response.

In Texas, our neighbors hung a gigantic spider web from the corner of their house to the edge of their driveaway, covering the majority of the front of their property. Every time we left or came home, our lil’ sweet pea screamed endlessly even after explaining that it was pretend. When we went for a walk, we had to avoid that side of the entire street.

Proactively, I try to avoid going into stores with her during the months of mid-August til mid-November to prevent a traumatic experience for her. Last week, we had a quick stop at a local shop. As soon as we crossed the parking lot and made it to the sidewalk, I could see we would be greeted by a life-size witch manniquin, positioned in the middle of the entrance. I did my best to prepare her and held her hand tight. As soon as her eyes gazed upon this scary creature, she screamed louder than I ever heard and ran away so fast. I ran as fast as I could and caught her before heading into traffic. Adrenalin was pumping in both of us; she was trembling. I tried to console her tears. We hesitantly entered the store, she was in my arms with her hood up and looking the other direction. We left immediately as scary decor filled much of the store, but after sharing our experience with the store manager.

On our way to pick up big brother from school yesterday, I heard “Mommy, Halloween is not good for little girls” from the backseat. Followed by, “Halloween is not my favorite.”

I know that many people enjoy Halloween, but I would be okay skipping the entire thing. Our family celebrates fall with leaves, pumpkins and favorite dress up costumes.

Resources:

https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/brains/halloween-frights-trigger/

https://serenitylinkscoaching.com/2016/10/16/skipping-halloween/