Two nights ago, on October 31, our neighborhood was invaded by hoards of little people. At least I think they were people. There were short princesses, minute Spidermen, itty bitty vampires, and more than a few vertically-challenged ninja warriors, all of whom swarmed the streets with flashlights and glow necklaces, yelling and laughing. They sounded like people, and I even recognized a few, through blond curly wigs and white face paint.
Herded by parents through the streets, these little people rang doorbells at every lit up house, and with little people voices, demanded candy.
“Trick or Treat!”
Open bags reached out, lollipops and Hershey bars ploppity plopped inside, and little feet scurried away to the next house.
Halloween night was here!
The anticipation leading up to Halloween night in our household created an excruciating excitement from the time the kids opened their eyes. Before driving off to school, we decorated shirts, rummaged through closets for a tweed jacket and bow tie, and came up with a game plan for hair gel, face paint, and sharp teeth.
One of my kids had the clever idea to dress up as a proverbial phrase. His shirt said “Life” and he carried a bag of lemons around, handing them out to strangers. When they accepted the lemons, he told them to make lemonade. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Brilliant.
All of the costume accoutrements sat on the table through the day, while the kids suffered through that terrible, boring thing called school, then homework, and then through a swift dinner. Finally, dusk set in and my husband and I set out in the streets with the kids, melding into the approaching mob.
The porch lights at most of the houses glowed brightly, signaling permission to trick-or-treaters to come on up. But, when we came upon the few darkened homes, the kids moaned disappointment. That was going to cut into their candy spoils, and they asked, why on Earth someone would not give out candy on Halloween. What was wrong with them?
“Maybe the parents are out trick-or-treating with their kids.” My husband reasoned.
“But, why don’t they have their Ba and Dada and Grandma stay to give out candy?” one of the kids inquired.
“Because, everybody doesn’t have a Ba and Dada and Grandma to do it.” My husband replied.
We had left my mom and my husband’s parents behind to give out the candy, so our house wouldn’t be one of those festivity-killing houses. All three grandparents loved seeing the grandchildren in their costumes, but none of them could walk long distances. So, their job was to hold down the fort and ration the candy to our visitors. Dada was especially astute at preparing a nice variety of chocolates and sugary candies, so that each child would get something they enjoyed. When we left, he was at the door, and Ba and Grandma sat in the kitchen talking. I spied one of the moms sneaking a hand into a candy bowl, probably searching for something chocolate.
So, my husband and I both had the luxury of sharing in the creepy, scary, and exhausting fun on the trick-or-treating trail this year. That’s something we could never do if it weren’t for all three of our wonderful parents.