It’s Halloween and I’m bummed.
Not totally sure why this is. It might be because I’m pissed off that TriStar consigned my in-perfect-condition witch hat to the “let’s make this stuff vanish” pile. Hard to be a witch with no pointy black hat. And I just couldn’t find the heart to go buy a new one. So I’m a gypsy today.
And it might be because TriStar also consigned my wonderful wide wicker basket that I always used for Halloween candy to that same “let’s make this stuff vanish” pile, for no good reason. I looked at the chintzy plastic bowls out there, sighed and decided to just use a blah boring plastic mixing bowl.
But I think a large part of it has to do with this being the first year my kids aren’t trick or treating. They’re too old. (mind you, it might have something to do with the rain, too…)
I have always loved Halloween. As a kid I loved the freedom of being able to go to strangers’ doors and have them give me candy. Hell, I loved the candy! We didn’t have a lot of money, so candy was not high on the list of purchases. I loved costumes too. Mind you, mine always sucked because we didn’t have enough money to buy the props and stuff to come up with a half decent costume, but I didn’t care.
Fast forward to Brianna’s childhood. I didn’t take her out on her very first Halloween. I mean, I could have…I suppose…but she was only a week old. She slept through it all. But every year after that, I started early and planned her costumes! Of course I made most of them, that’s what good stay at home moms do, right? Well, this one did. I may not have baked cookies or made my own play dough, but damn, I did GOOD costumes.
This was one night that Paul always made a point of coming home early for. We would trade off – I would take her out for the first street while he handed out candy at home, then he would take her for another street while I handed out candy. By that point she was tired and fed up, so we were done. Then we would have pizza for dinner, and she got to hand out candy to the latecomers till we ran out. When Sean was born, the tradition continued, just with the addition of a stroller for a couple years. Then Brianna was old enough to – gulp – go trick or treating with her friends. But I still had Sean! I still had the utter delight of going door to door with him, seeing all the adorable little kids out in their costumes, hearing the laughter and delight as the kids raced along the streets, and just soaking in the energies of the night. As he got older, he really didn’t need me to go along, but I did anyway. More for me than him. And he didn’t mind. At least, he said he didn’t. Even after Paul left, the three of us carried on our traditions – only this time it was Brianna and I who traded off going out with Sean.
But now that’s a chapter of my life that has come to an end. No more will I take my kids trick or treating door to door. And I suppose when I have grandkids, their parents will want to take them out.
Now, most of the chapters that have passed have not really affected me. I didn’t cry when my baby girl graduated from grade 8. I even dealt with her first boyfriend positively. But for some reason, the end of the era of trick or treating really bothers me. So tonight as we hand out candy to the few who brave the rain, I am feeling wistful and nostalgic for days gone by. And that’s ok.