Holidays are supposed to be better with children. Some I would like to skip!
I sat in the line of traffic on my way home from work looking at the tail lights of the car in front of me hopelessly. I pictured my children on the therapist's couch twenty years from now explaining how their mother consistently missed Halloween. But these days, missing Halloween isn't all that bad.
The truth is I used to love Halloween when it was about me. There's nothing better than coming up with a creative costume and going to a rocking Halloween party. But these are the things of Halloween past. Now, Halloween is about stuffing little bodies in store-bought costumes, making sure they don't get hit by a car, and fighting about how much candy they're allowed to eat before bedtime.
When I finally got home last night, cold pizza in hand, I was greeted by a crying, three-year-old Wonder Woman who had fallen in the driveway. Daddy was off chatting with neighbors and ignoring the fact that even superheroes need help navigating steep terrain. I quickly changed and sprang into action shepherding my daughters and their friends through the darkness up the street. They whined about who would be first at each door. They whined about who got the most candy. They whined when they tripped over the edges of their elaborate costumes.
I was so hypoglycemic from not eating since before noon that I had to raid their plastic pumpkins in order to make it to the top of the street. At that point, the group wanted to push on, so we pushed the superheroes and princesses through two lanes of traffic, dodging several oncoming cars, just to get a few more houses in.
By the end of the night everyone was cranky. My kids didn't want to eat dinner or take a bath. They fought over who had gotten the most candy, tediously counting each piece and comparing their piles. It was a battle to bring them down from their chocolate-high and get them into bed. I was thrilled when Halloween was finally over.
As a child I loved Halloween. I especially remember the year I was a majorette and I got a hole in my bag (from dragging it on the pavement). Needless to say I lost it all – the wax lips, the dots, the pixie sticks, the licorice, the loose candy corns that parents would never let kids eat today. That year my best friend Pam's older sister helped me meticulously re-trace my steps and find some of the lost candy. Then, my friends divided their candy and shared it s with me. In the end I got more than I lost because of their generosity. Maybe if we could bring a little of that joy back and less of the greed Halloween would be something special again.