As I sit here, indulging in (a few bites of) the candy I have siphoned out of Munchie’s pumpkin pail of loot from last night’s Trick-or-Treating adventures (okay, fine… it’s been more than a couple bites… but it was cold, so I upped the candy tax for this year), I can’t help but reminisce about the brisk fall nights when I, myself, walked up to the homes of my neighbors and took candy from the hands of strangers (talk about a creepy freaking holiday).
Actually, I’ve been thinking about holidays in general. The whole excitement and shrill joy that surrounds these festivities seems to be cyclical throughout our lives. I’m going to discuss Halloween, but you will quickly see how the premise relates to other stuff, too.
Halloween was awesome when we were kids because… well… do I even have to explain? Filling your pillowcases with candy, coming home to sort through the goodies, trading back and forth with friends/siblings/neighbors/etc (which was ridiculous, because it all went in the same basket in the end… except for the chocolate… that went straight in the freezer). Yeah, Halloween as a kid was epic.
Then, you got older… too old to go door to door… and the holiday kind of lost its flair for a while.You would watch kids pass by, maybe you would even hand out candy… being sure to pass out the gross stuff (I’m talking about YOU, Bit O Honey) first and save the Snickers bars and Reese’s cup for the end… hoping they would become your bounty, if not claimed by younger children throughout the evening.
I guess things picked up for some folks in college… slutty costumes, alcohol (but, obviously only for those of legal age), and parties. A different kind of nonsense and fun. Then, you buy a house… or become a somewhat responsible adult… and start paying back society for the many years you collected candy of your own. That’s right… you carve a pumpkin, flip on your porch light, and pass out treats to the neighborhood kids.
But… it still seems like something is missing.
Then… your family starts to grow. Pregnant Halloween is awesome… because of maternity pants. You can eat all the candy you want and no one will say a word… especially if you add in a cute line like, “The baby just LOVES Butterfingers!”
That takes us to “Floppy Baby Halloween,” when your kid is too small to give a crap, but looks freaking ADORABLE in that giant costume you have shoved them into. (Kid-haters, beware… we WILL post a million photos of our children throughout the year… and then double that amount on holidays… especially this holiday… because our kids are the most adorable things you have ever seen… EVER.) You find every excuse to parade your “too young for candy tot” around, simply to show them off.
Finally, we have the year Halloween (and every other holiday) starts to get fun… the no-longer-floppy-baby-I-can-do-this-myself-get-out-of-my-way-and-let-me-eat-all-the-candy Halloween. That’s what we have THIS year! Munchie was running up and down driveways to collect his loot, really checking out everyone’s jack-o-lanterns, decorations, and dogs… yes, you read that correctly… dogs. If the house had a dog, he would rather look at, pet, and sit with the animal than eat candy. (He also really enjoyed all the fire pits people had pulled around front and were huddled around. I’m not kidding – it was COLD!)
After posting our pictures from last nights’ adventures, I started getting messages from my friends with children who are now grown, telling me to enjoy these years, because I will miss them. Yes, I’m sure I will. I know there will be a lull between the years my kiddo is enthralled in the holidays, and the day the next generation steps in to create a new wave of excitement for our family… but until then, I vow to live in the moment… and take the time to sit on the ground with him as he admires the jack-o-lanterns.