I’m not sure how Halloween is going to be in your neck of the woods, but in mine it’s not going to be all that great. Rain, rain, rain…wind, wind, wind…blech, blech, blech. The city went so far as to cancel trick-or-treating tonight and moved it to tomorrow, which is probably a good idea. My kids all have colds, so this prevents me from being the Halloween Scrooge and telling them they’ll be trick-or-treating door to door in our house. We did do that one year. My daughters remember it fondly(or not so fondly.) My youngest daugther, who is 10 years old, was probably 4 or 5 when we did it. She reminisced about how horrible of a Halloween that was just the other night in the kitchen…
You see, I’d stand behind a bedroom door, they’d come knocking on the door and I’d act like a different person each time and give them candy. We had candy in the house. We were prepared for trick-or-treating to commence. The weather got nasty so we didn’t go so I improvised. At the time I thought it was fun, and I thought they did too. I guess I was mistaken. Come on! What dad would do that kind of crazy thing to make his kids happy? Really. Tell me. I’d like to contact him and see if he’s insane. Anyways, the kids are adamant that we aren’t doing that this year so the fact they’ve moved the “panhandling for ghouls” evening to tomorrow is a good thing. Plus, our town has this thing called “First Friday”, which is basically when they block off the downtown area of our city and the local businesses keep their doors open later. There’s usually food stands and some sort of entertainment. Something like yodelers, bare knuckle brawling in front of Mad Anthony’s Brewing Co, and even pony rides for the leprosy-inflicted. This year the kids will be able to trick-or-treat business-to-business as opposed to residence-to-residence. We did this many years ago, before the boy was our “happy accident”. My oldest daughter was only 4 years old and our youngest at the time was 17 months old. I think my wife actually made a costume for our oldest, possibly even for our youngest. I remember it being cold and the 17 month old just wanted to keep getting out of her stroller. It was a battle of wills, along with a battle for candy supremacy. Now that I think about it, I’ve blocked a lot of that night out. It just comes to me like tattered and browned Polaroids these days. Snapshots of a night weighted by mammoth expectations, only to be brought back to earth by reality and the extremely short attention span of a 1 1/2 year old with saggy eyes and saggier Pampers.
But tomorrow should be different. Should be, I say. Kids doing the “candy-in-bag” thing this year are 10 and 8. Costumes are figured out, goals are at an earthbound level(load up on “Fun Size” confections and get the hell out), and be home by 8pm for a Hot Toddy and some classic horror schwag. Plus, my new favorite coffee shop, Three Crowns Coffee, are have some special drinks in store for tomorrow as well so Daddy gets a treat as well. Caffeine, done up all pretty-like.
I need to just enjoy this one. Halloween, 2013 that is. I already have a kid that’s too old for trick-or-treating, with another that’s just a couple years away from being done as well. I think about it and it makes me sad. One more milestone that moves me closer to no more “little ones”, just big ones with attitudes. I hear about people not celebrating Halloween and it baffles me. Halloween isn’t kids worshiping some evil entity. It’s dress up. It’s imagination. It’s pretending you’re Captain America, a Disney Princess, and yes, a monster. There’s folks that take it too far, but they exist everywhere. Well beyond All Hallow’s Eve. The fear, excitement, and joy of Halloween night is like no other. Halloween isn’t a worshiped holiday like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. This is informal. This is “leave your tie at the door, bub.” This is letting loose, letting your imagination fly, and watching your kids play pretend from 5pm to 7:30pm. Then when they get home it’s time to count that cavity-making loot. It’s not any more evil than what’s on the evening news or Dancing With The Stars. Some of my best childhood memories are of Halloweens. Running around our neighborhood dressed as Darth Vader, a vampire, a zombie, or a machine gun-toting burglar(it was a year when we didn’t buy a costume…it was put together on the fly.) I want my kids to have those memories as well. They have a few now. I’m hoping tomorrow can be added to the list.
“Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat“-some kid, somewhere, some time.