So, it’s Halloween once again. This means the streets and sidewalks in my corner of the universe are filled with little ghosts, witches, goblins, superheroes, princesses … and, well, a bunch of stuff I didn’t recognize. It’s a strange holiday, really, if you think about it. As parents, I think many of us spend a lot of time trying to keep our kiddos away from the sweets and treats. Except for this one day of the year, when we send them begging door-to-door, after which they will eat themselves into a sugar coma of sorts. Truthfully, I’m probably not the best mama on the block because I let my child eat sweets on a pretty regular basis. I also let her eat carbs. I have a feeling the child police are waiting just around the corner to swoop in and haul me off to parent jail. Or something.
I kind of don’t get Halloween. Often, this makes me feel like an alien from another planet. I see people all around me making jack-o-lanterns and decorating and dressing up in costumes. And they all seem to have so much fun doing it. I feel really separated from all of that. Halloween was never a “thing” for me during my growing-up years. I spent most of my childhood living in the middle of nowhere. Our nearest neighbor was about three miles away … down a dirt road … in the dark. I’m sure, though, that I must have gone trick-or-treating as a little kid (like, pre-4th grade), because we lived in a city then. Living in a town or city makes trick-or-treating so much easier. Or, well, even possible. No one wants to go trotting down a dark dirt road in costume.
My kiddo LOVES Halloween. She looks forward to it all year long. She usually starts off in August, thinking about what she might want to be for Halloween. It takes a lot of figuring. And then, of course, we have to go off in search of the costume. Or, if we’re super lucky, we have to find items we can use to make the costume. Sometimes, making the costume is cheaper. Sometimes, it is not. But, you know … You take what you can get. I think a lot of life is like that.
I totally get why my kiddo loves this holiday so much. For her, it’s a fun time. We have some close friends who live in the most adorable neighborhood in the world, and we usually head over to their house for Halloween. They love hosting, and we love being hosted … so it works out really well. Lucky for me! Tonight, she got to go out trick-or-treating with a big group of kids. They went all around the neighborhood and came back, laughing and joking about what they had seen and done. After, they sat around our friends’ big dining room table and swapped candy. It was noisy and unruly and beyond perfect. I loved hearing all of them and seeing the smile on my daughter’s face. I loved knowing she was having a great time, and that she will carry memories of nights like this with her for the rest of her life. For me, that’s what it’s all about. I don’t necessarily need to “get” Halloween. I don’t necessarily need to have the burning desire to dress up or act crazy or whatever. If I can see her have a great time and make memories and laugh … Well, that’s more than enough.
Plus, there is the “parent tax”. All that chocolate isn’t going to eat itself, you know!