- Halloween used to be sticky fingers grasping a hand to climb a flight of steps to a stranger’s home.
- Halloween used to be forcing a three, four, five year old to say ‘thank you’ upon receipt of a sugary treat; that you secretly hope is chocolate without any coconut.
- Halloween used to be spending hours upon hours on intricate, beautiful costumes…only to cover them up with a coat because the outside temperature is hovering above freezing on the big day.
- Halloween used to be school parades with smiles and crooked costumes and video cameras…one such school parade where my youngest clearly not ready for kindergarten tells the lovely Snow White mother blocking his view, ‘Move it, Snow White. I can’t see my brother.’
- Halloween used to be family pumpkin carving gatherings with pencils marking triangles for a Jack O’ Lantern’s eyes and nose, endless Halloween craft projects coming home from school involving ghosts, witches, pumpkins and skeletons…which somehow tied into a curriculum of some sort.
- Halloween used to be making cut out cookies with frosting and candy corns for school parties, neighbors reconnecting over hot apple cider and trying to force some broccoli or carrot sticks in between the meals of sugar.
- Halloween is now your kids figuring out their own costumes with what’s in the closet or rummaging through their Dad’s box of clothes he just can’t part with.
- Halloween is now giving them the car keys to drive to the best neighborhoods and ‘not really but kind of’ trick or treating…once you hit high school, come on, really? Okay, I can see why they hit a certain Pepperwood Drive wherein families clearly take out second mortgages to compete with one another’s treats – two-pound bags of M&Ms per trick or treater…seriously.
- Halloween is now kids finding intricate patterns on the Internet for pumpkin carving creations…and asking if we can roast the seeds like we always used to (once or twice maybe, but I’ll let him believe it’s one of those traditions.)
- Halloween is now about making a good stew, opening a great Pinot Noir, turning on some Duke Ellington, lighting a plethora of candles and enjoying the freedom...And praying like the dickens that your kids are not doing anything stupid or anywhere near anything or anyone resembling stupidity.
I think I’ll have another glass of Pinot Noir, please.