Sunday, November 01, 2009

These are S&M's, Mommy, not M&M's!

OK, you can probably guess where that quote came from. ;^)

My 6-year-old Leo -- who loves chocolate but not fruit -- discovered the remaining Skittles I'd bought for the trick-or-treaters. And he can identify letters just well enough to tell that it says right on the package that they aren't the treat he was hoping for...

And today's "expat story hour" question is: What did my kids think of their first American Halloween?

They absolutely loved it! Halloween (essentially in its American incarnation) is appearing little by little in Europe, but it's not like here. Their school had Halloween activities all day on Friday -- with the kids and teachers all dressed up in their costumes -- and we went trick-or-treating with a group of neighbor kids in the evening.

I remember having great fun at Halloween parties as a kid. Our Mormon ward was pretty cool, so we never did did any of those lame anti-real-Halloween substitutes like "Trunk-or-Treating" or a "Hell House." We had a fairly standard fun Halloween party every year with costumes, games, bobbing for apples, and haunted rooms with things like cold spaghetti and peeled grapes pretending to be other things...

So I felt bad that we ended up not taking our kids to any of the Halloween parties we were invited to. I wanted to, but it turned out that October 31st was the only day this whole semester that there was a (relatively) kid-friendly matinee at the Metropolitan Opera! And that was another one of the big cultural experiences we didn't want our kids to miss on during this stay in the U.S.: a trip to the Met!!!

My husband got one shot of the chandeliers before we found that photography isn't allowed -- even in the foyer!!

We went to see Il Barbiere di Siviglia, which the kids have seen a bunch of times on video, so they knew the basic story and the music. We all had a great time!! For the kids, just seeing any kind of show performed live (like a movie, only live!) is already exceptional, and they liked looking through the binoculars at the orchestra playing their instruments. And we got back just in time for trick-or-treating, so it was perfect!!!

Some Halloween I hope I can do this though...


MoHoHawaii said...

That sounds like such a fun day, esp. the part about going to the Met. I think kids should be introduced to opera. I didn't see my first opera live until I was 16 (at the old Paris opera, the Palais Garnier), but I had nearly memorized many of the opera recordings my parents had at home. I can't imagine what it would have been like to have my parents take me to an opera when I was a kid. You deserve some kind of parent-of-the-year award.

I think Barber of Seville is a great opera for kids. As a child I also loved Madame Butterfly, Der Rosenkavalier and the Magic Flute (the Bergman film is superb for kids).

I'm going to be in NYC a lot now, and I want to take Tobi to see the haunts down at Old Nassau. Maybe we can connect if you're still there.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey MoHoHawaii!!!

That would be fabulous!!! We'll be here until mid-December. Email me about the possibility of getting together: chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com.

Varina said...

I've never heard of Mormons putting on Hell houses anyway. We always had trunk or treating, but it was widely considered a supplement and not a substitute for trick or treating and regular Halloween. It's funny because this year I noticed a few area churches holding "harvest festivals" instead of Halloween parties and every time I have to stop myself from going in and saying "you know a harvest festival is actually more pagan than Halloween, which is a reference to a standard Christian holiday, All Souls (or Hallows in middle English) day".

In any case, I think that sounds like a very fun day and I love the idea of Opera for Halloween. After all, they do tend to involve extremely elaborate costumes.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Sabayon!!!

Yeah, I know that "Hell Houses" are a fundy Christian thing, not a Mormon thing. I'm just saying that sometimes the Mormons aren't the lamest folks in town. ;^)

That is too funny that some churches are trying to substitute harvest festivals!! I wonder if they're holding them in cooperation with the local Wicca coven. ;^)

Very good point about the Opera costumes! I'm glad we did it -- I think it was a really memorable experience for the kids. :D