For as long as I can remember, I have always loved the fall season, and particularly, the week leading up to Halloween.

As a kid I can remember the excitement building just a couple of weeks after school started, when all my schoolmates started weighing options for the costume they would wear for the much anticipated occasion known as trick or treating.

The choices then, as they are now, are seemingly endless, limited only by your own ability to imagine and create. My mom used to be a master at costume making, with my favorites being the year she made an angel costume, complete with metallic wings and matching halo. For my brother, she fashioned a detailed skeleton suit using a black sweatshirt, sweatpants and white tape for the bones.

Unfortunately, I am not like my mother in that respect. Therefore I typically start talking to Shane about what he might like to be for Halloween just beyond the back-to-school shopping rush, but far enough ahead of time to allow for what has become his inevitable costume idea flip-flopping.

Just after he started the third grade, I was pretty sure his choice may carry some kind of military theme because that seems to be what holds his interest these days, especially anything involving airplanes. Thinking he might want to dress up as a pilot, I pitched that idea to him one day when we were out to lunch.

"Yes! I would love it!" he said, and then promptly returned to the task of chowing down his grilled cheese sandwich.

That was all I heard on the topic for a couple of weeks, until one Saturday, out of the blue he asked me if I found his costume yet.

"Not yet, why?" I inquired.

"I think I want to be an Army guy now," he announced.

Well, that's a fairly easy one to pull off, why not?

And then a few days later, when he learned of my plans to go as a pirate with a fancy captain's style hat, jacket and fake hook for a hand, he changed his mind again.

"We'll both be pirates!" he said, as he was handing me his two eye patches he obtained from previous costumes, both carrying the skull and crossbones graphic. "Here, you can wear both of my eye patches!"

It was so cute, I felt a little bad about explaining the fault with his suggestion. We had a good laugh about it, and after I thanked him for his generous offer I gladly took possession of one of those costume props. As it turned out, he felt the same about my suggestion that we cut off our real legs and glue on wooden ones for authenticity (a fun reference for those of you who have seen the movie "Drop Dead Fred").

So pirates we would be. Ahoy!

And then I took him to Spirit Halloween in Brewer to pick out his costume.

The choices in the seasonal shop has all things Halloween, and it didn't take long before he changed his mind again after getting a load of a ninja costume that included a shirt that gave him rippling muscles made of nylon and soft foam.

"OK, but once you choose this costume that's it," I reminded him. I felt like channeling a little Regis Philbin from back when he was the original host of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," prodding the boy for his "final answer."

Well that was two weeks ago, and since then he has already worn his ninja disguise to a couple of Halloween-related local events and appears to be very happy with his choice.

Then the other evening, as we sat in the living room and watched his "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" DVD, Shane made another announcement.

"Mom, I think next year for Halloween I'm going to be a vampire," he said.