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JACKETS AND GRANDFATHERS Cherishing My Ever-Changing Halloween Memories
I ’ll never forget my Halloween nights candy tote in hand — only to have to bundle up in my jacket and snowpants as the chilly Illinois weather set in over the city. So much for dressing up, I guess. Now, raising my family in Florida, I can’t help but laugh at how different my children’s Halloween experiences have been. One tradition that my family has forged around Halloween that I will always cherish is my father’s visit from Chicago. Halloween is a “noncompetitive holiday” for me and my siblings. My parents don’t have to worry about making sure they see every family member before the holiday is over, and it’s a chance to make memories with our family, as we live the farthest away. So, my dad would fly down and spend a few days with our Floridian family to take the kids trick-or- treating. growing up in Chicago. I would suit up in the costume I’d been planning for weeks and eagerly wait to run out the door, My son’s costumes would always be a constant rotation of superheroes, his capes and candy sack flowing behind him as he ran ahead of us. As for my daughter, I can remember pulling her around to the different houses in our wagon when she was little, and as she grew up, some of her costume highlights included ladybugs, princesses, and Hannah Montana.
Now that they are 15 and 13 years old, the kids no longer spend the night traipsing around the neighborhood with me and their grandfather. Instead, they’re off with their friends while my wife and I hand out candy to the few kids who show up at our door. As my kids have aged, so has our neighborhood, and now only a handful of kids make it to our door every year. I will miss the years of memories our three generations made together, but we’ll always have those spooky nights of making our way through the neighborhood for a jacket- less Halloween. And I still get my trick-or-treating fix. Every year, the local preschools make their way through our office, and we reward them with full-sized candy bars. They’re at that perfectly cute age when they’re aware of what’s going on yet still full of wonder over it. It’s pure joy for our office, and while we love seeing our patients’ success stories unfold, it’s a rejuvenating break to see pure childlike happiness in our office. That’s exactly what Halloween should be. It has spooks and scary stories, but it’s really about dressing up in your favorite costume and soaking in the magic of free candy and your neighborhood coming to life — even if you have to wear a jacket to do it.
-Luke Kron, PT Managing Partne
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