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OUR FAMILY PREPARES FOR ANOTHER HALLOWEEN TRICKS AND TREATS
On the cover of the newsletter we published last October, Emilie speculated about whether or not our eldest, Zach, would be trick-or- treating this year. Well, I’m happy to say that so far, all signs point to yes for our eighth grader. If he doesn’t go out with his friends this Halloween, he’ll most likely tag along with his little brother Nathan. That’s been one change we have seen over the years. The brothers are still mostly inseparable, but at events like Halloween, they start drifting toward their own peer groups. That’s part of growing up, I suppose, but I’m glad to see the two of them have maintained their close bond of friendship into the beginnings of adolescence. For our part, Emilie and I would never pressure our boys to skip trick-or-treating. Halloween is a magical holiday, one that’s all about having fun and being a kid. How could we as parents take that away from them? Plus, seeing our kids get dressed up and go trick-or-treating gives us parents a chance to relive the joy of the holiday through their eyes. When I was a kid growing up in a small town, we had free rein
on Halloween. My friends and I would roam far and wide with our pillowcases full of candy. In fact, we’d make pit stops back at our houses to empty our bags, then go out and get more. Of course, we never managed to eat it all, but that wasn’t really the point. Just competing to see how much we could get in a night was part of the fun. But of course, as you get older, you start giving into peer pressure and stop trick-or-treating. Between college and having kids, Halloween lost a lot of its magic for me.
So I certainly won’t be the one to pressure my kids into giving up this tradition. They are free to head out and get as much free candy as they can carry year after year — so long as they wear costumes. In my mind, there’s nothing worse than those teenagers that wear T-shirts trick-or-treating, saying “I’m dressed as a teenager.” If I were the one passing out the candy at our household, there would be a minimum threshold on effort and creativity before you got treats. That’s probably the reason I’m the one out watching the boys every year while Emilie mans the candy bowl. I’m just biased toward creative costumes. One of my favorite memories with my kids was from the Halloween a few years ago when Nathan made up his own superhero. We still laugh about “The Windenator” and how Nathan spun his way from house to house making tornado noises! More than candy or costumes, those sorts of memories are the best Halloween treats of all.
“SEEING OUR KIDS GET DRESSED UP AND GO TRICK-OR-TREATING GIVES US PARENTS A CHANCE TO RELIVE THE JOY OF THE HOLIDAY THROUGH THEIR EYES.”
During those years, it really is just another fall day. Having kids (and our dog Stitch) to dress up in costumes and take trick-or- treating really let me re-experience what made Oct. 31 fun.
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