Berlin Law Firm October 2018

LEX CANIS THE

Sweet Memories What Halloween Means to Me

Wearing last year’s costume, I marched to every door in the house to practice my knock and announcement of “trick or treat!” To my mother’s credit, she followed me around the whole way, opening doors and finding little treats to give me. And of course, she made sure saying thank you was part of my routine. At the time, I think she didn’t know whether to laugh or take me in for a psychological evaluation. Nowadays she calls every year to remind me about that little burst of eccentricity. Looking back, it’s hard to say what I was really rehearsing for. Growing up on a ranch in Northwest Montana, I didn’t exactly have neighbors to go harass for candy. None within walking distance, anyway. Instead, my parents would drive me and my little brothers into town on Oct. 31, where we could do a little downtown circuit with the homes and businesses there. It was a nice tradition, and I definitely didn’t complain about the free candy. Of course, making the 30-minute drive into town meant listening to my mom’s annual lecture on “the evils of people on Halloween.” To hear her tell it, you’d think that just about every apple and unwrapped candy was laced with some sort of horrible drug or razor blade. I can understand her wanting to

protect her little boys, but I’ll never forget the time my mom made me throw away a fresh- baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookie I’d just gotten from a sweet old lady’s house. Not only was this your standard neighborhood grandma, but she lived across the street from the sheriff’s office! I still remember the cookie being warm in my hand as we left the nice old lady’s doorstep. I almost thought I could get away with eating it. Nope. “Ohhh no, you’re not eating that!” my mom said, intercepting the cookie before it could reach my mouth. She threw it in the garbage two blocks down. Looking back, I laugh about it now. Those were innocent times, all things considered. Donning our store-bought plastic masks and heading down the neighborhood streets of our small town with my brothers in tow are some of my most cherished childhood memories. More than the candy or cookies, I remember my sweet mother, who loved me enough to take part in my Halloween rehearsal and keep me safe during the big night.

Every year, as the leaves begin to change and the Halloween decorations come out, my mom calls to remind me of the time I “practiced” trick-or-treating. I must have been 5 or 6 years old at the time, but I knew Halloween was coming, and I wanted to be ready for the big event. So a full week before the holiday, I went down to the basement and dug out all our old Halloween costumes. I still remember the look of bewilderment on my mother’s face when I first rang the doorbell.

Here’s to all the parents who make Halloween magical. - Lee Berlin

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