Smelly Socks: For every zombie skate punk, there is always a Captain America

Nov. 14, 2013 at 5:14 a.m.

Captain America saves Halloween.

Captain America saves Halloween.

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it over and over again, but I wish I understood boys. From the beginning, it's been somewhat of a loopy adventure with my two little guys - from learning about what kind of toys they like to play with to tolerating their bathroom habits.

And at no time is my confusion about this more evident than at Halloween. In the last few years, Adam and Charlie have dressed pretty appropriately for their ages as cowboys and firemen. But what I want to know is what happened to those cute little cowboys, firemen and knights that would run from door to door yelling "trick or treat" and hoping for the good candy.

Why is the desire to now dress like a zombie skate punk and a ghoul with glowing eyes so alluring and appealing to my boys? Yes, I said boys - as even Charlie does not fear the Halloween reaper.

It started in early October as we kept going back and forth on what they wanted to be for Halloween this year. First it was a knight, then an army soldier, then a football player. We even went to Party City to look at different costumes, and therein I made my mistake. The minute Adam saw the zombie skater punk costume, that was it. That was what he was going to be for Halloween.

Charlie being the little brother, of course, wanted to be something similar, like a ghoul of some sort. Well no way was I going to dress either of my children as zombies - at least not yet. You see, many times before that visit to Party City, I had asked Adam what he wanted to be, but he couldn't really decide. Charlie, however, when asked what he wanted to be for Halloween, said he wanted to be "Superhero Charlie."

Superhero Charlie is a story that I made up and would tell him at night before he went to bed. He would fight crime with his superhero dog, Lucy, with both of them wearing capes and flying through the neighborhood making sure to catch bad guys running through our city - and they always caught the bad guys. But after Charlie saw the costumes at Party City, he changed his mind and said he wanted to be a ghoul of some kind.

After two weeks of begging, pleading and bartering and many no's on my part, they finally decided on an Army soldier complete with canteen, knife, combat boots and helmet for Adam and a Captain America suit for Charlie. He liked that costume so much he's still wearing that costume around the house.

And while I can still hold the reigns with Charlie a little bit, I know it won't be long before he joins his brother and countless other zombies, skate punks and ghouls in the Halloween zombie apocalypse that walk around our neighborhood at twilight gathering as much candy as they can while running door to door and trying to keep up with their friends.

In the meantime, I'll try to keep him as Captain America for as long as I can - even if it means eating his morning oatmeal while wearing the red, white and blue suit and face mask of a comic book superhero. So the way I look at it, two superheroes really did win out this Halloween after all.

Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs, one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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