Saturday, November 08, 2008


I had no idea that Halloween is the best parenting day of the year. I'll bet it even beats Christmas morning.

Last year Theo was old enough to wear a cute pumpkin get-up and visit Daddy in the office cafeteria, and that was about it for our celebration. Outside America, Halloween is gaining in popularity, but it's more about teenagers and twenty-somethings wearing a bunch of black eyeliner and fangs and drinking a lot of blood-themed beverages in dark bars. That happens here too, but here it's still mostly about the kids. Though I'd been led to believe that trick-or-treating had been moved to the malls or eschewed for backyard parties, and that in the big cities and evens small towns like my hometown, the pint-sized ghouls no longer haunted sidewalks on October 31st.

Boy, did I get some bad information. Maybe it was because of the gorgeous fall weather or because it was my first time out in about 25 years, but trick-or-treating was even better than I remembered it. The houses were decorated with pumpkin lights and chattering skulls, and kids from Theo's age to teenagers were decked out as Harry Potter characters and baked goods (the three pre-teen girls dressed as cupcakes got my vote for best costume). And they were all so delighted to be there. The residents of the neighborhood were fantastic and kind, and we only encountered one cranky old guy who snapped, "I WILL DOLE OUT THE CANDY MYSELF, DON'T GRAB." He probably saw some toilet paper in his yard the next morning.

Theo, dressed as a little green turtle, clutched his plastic pumpkin and toddled behind a gaggle of cousins from house to house in Nana and Grandpa's neighborhood. He teetered up steep driveways and pressed doorbells and stood next to Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones and the Snow Princess as they shouted TRICK OR TREAT (he never quite got the hang of that, but it didn't matter). Then, when the bigger kids had each taken a piece of candy, he reached into the bowl, smiled up at the generous soul who had answered the door, brightly said "Thank you!" and scooped as much loot into his bucket as he could. One of his parents then leapt to his side, returned all but his share, and scooted him off the steps as he waved bye-bye.

Best of all was his wonder and thrill at every stage of the process. He loved his turtle shoes, he loved his pumpkin (in fact he keeps asking to sleep with it) and he LOVED the candy. No matter that he hasn't really eaten any of it. CANDY CANDY CANDY he said as he peered into his plastic pumpkin. RUNNING RUNNING RUNNING he said as his short legs churned along the sidewalk behind his cousins. And HAPPY, he sighed, as Jeff picked him and carried him home from the last house on the street.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Gianna LOVES halloween, of course she thinks it is a big continued birthday celebration, but is happy to share the festivities with the other children :-)