Halloween was weird this year.
For years my parents would come and see the kids in their costumes and take them trick or treating with me. Help man the candy hand-out. Help assess the inventory after the acquisition phase was complete. Help eat a few Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups if we had too many (as if there is such a thing).
The kids trick or treated with the neighbors. We knew a lot of the neighbors.
A couple of years ago we were invited to a friend’s annual party and we went. My folks stayed home. We left a bowl of candy on the front steps and drove away. The kids went out with a mob of dads and I stayed home with the matching mob of moms (plus a few extras) and “helped” hand out the candy. The kids had a larger pool of compadres to swap candy with. They traveled in a larger pack. It was a different kind of fun.
This year we thought we might stay home. But we know less neighbors. My kids are approaching the age where people are going to open the door and wonder why those pesky teenagers insist on continuing to demand candy. But those pesky teenagers are still into it and I don’t like to discourage them from getting off the couch if they are so motivated.
Then my daughter was invited to a party with her high school friends…and my son and I decided that trick or treating with your mom is perhaps the most terrifying of all ways to celebrate the undead. So we went to the party again (and were psyched to do so…trick or treating with a crowd was going to be fun…eating chili with our friends seemed like just the right celebratory plan.) Both kids were dressed up and looking fabulous. I told the boy that as the sole trick-or-treater of the family the pressure was on to bring home a huge stash. He was up for it.
We went to the party. Everyone admired their costumes and commented on the girl’s proximity to college (eek) and the boy’s impressive height (eek squared). Photos were taken. Strategies were in place to maximize candy acquisition.
Then the girl found out her party wasn’t a costume party (doh) and the boy started to look a little green around the edges and his interest in candy waned and his interest in lying down somewhere was overwhelming. So we left the party.
Insert sad face.
We drove home, sneaking past a gajillion tiny trick or treaters and hoping no one would figure out we were home. Our candy bowl was already empty (it was 6:30). We kept the lights low. The boy immediately fell asleep surrounded by the rubble of his Phantom of the Opera finest. Cape strewn here…face smashing half mask strewn there…
The girl changed and I took her to the party. A high school party with a band. She is a far cooler high schooler than I ever was.
On the way back I went to the semi-deserted Target and picked through the sad remains of Halloween to DIY a candy stash. This is what a world where you have no trick-or-treaters looks like, I guess. A bag of tiny Twix purchased in the decimated Halloween department while wearing a t-shirt sadly proclaiming “This is my costume.”
I dropped off the candy, checked on the slightly less green boy, and went back to pick up the party girl. Waited in the car while she finished having fun. Someone should be having fun, right?
Came home and ate a tiny Twix (or two…maybe three).
What is it that they say? Everything is a phase? This too shall pass.
I guess this is the next phase. And I’m sure it will be fine (and hopefully won’t generally involve sudden illness) – I always knew that the days of tiny kids in costumes bringing me candy were limited. I should have seen it coming more clearly.
Next year is the last one before the girl goes to college.
The boy is nearing 6 feet tall…
Luckily the dog still looks cute in a costume, and that’s unlikely to change.
But how will she carry the plastic pumpkin?