Halloween is a very special time for children and is also a time I was not allowed to participate in as a child. Yes, I was the “freak” whose mother wouldn’t let her trick-or-treat, dress up, or even color worksheets related to what she called, “the devil’s holiday.” There was only one other child, in my entire elementary, whose mother was as mean as mine. Together, Larissa and I watched episodes of Reading Rainbow in the Media Center, while our classmates got to participate in the school’s hay wagon ride and play the games comprising the Fall Spooktacular. When I complained to my mother that all my classmates got candy and that Larissa and I missed out, she offered to buy a bag at the grocery store. It wasn’t the same; I hadn’t earned my candy.
Today, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and my belief system appears inverted. I view the holiday as harmless–and fanatical parents (such as my mother, who NOW agrees that a little trick-or-treating really wouldn’t have hurt anything & if she had it to do over, she’d let me be a heathen for one night out of the year) as in cohorts with the devil. It’s a strange paradox.
When my boyfriend mentioned the trunk-or-treat event, hosted by a local school, my eyes lit up excitedly. “Do we get to dress up!?”
He said, “No, it’s for the kids only. Parents and adults don’t dress up.”
“Are you sure? I think we need costumes too.”
“No. The twins aren’t even dressing up. Just Will.” The twins, Annsley and Makayla, are thirteen. Will is seven.
Twenty-five minutes before it was time to leave for the trunk-or-treat, the girls toyed with possible last-minute costumes. I suggested they put on their fleece onesies and go as big babies, but Annsley decided she couldn’t be seen in public like that. Makayla suggested that she and her sister wear matching outfits and go as twins. So they did. Mike offered to put on a pair of blue jeans and a cowboy hat to go as a shirtless cowboy, but it grossed out the kids (although I liked his idea).
When I asked Will earlier in the week what he was going to dress up as, he said, “That one guy. Luke’s dad.”
“Yes! That’s him.”
Darth had just chopped off my neck, so I was trying to look horrified.
I would like to point out that I am NOT wearing a costume, but rather the warmest sweater I could find in my closet. I will also mention that upon arriving at the trunk-or-treat, most of the adults WERE dressed up. Darth Vader’s costume was, by far, the most impressive of any other boy’s garb.
He made several laps around the candy circuit, but Mike and I only made it through two. During Darth’s travels, he made sure to snag a Reese’s cup for my mom and a box of Nerds for me. However, as any Star Wars fan knows, there’s a limit to Darth’s generosity.
Upon arriving home, Darth said, “One piece per person and that’s IT!” He meant it. The dark force was strong with that one– two meltdowns over the loot had proven it so; no one was up for a third challenge.
In the morning, however, Darth awoke with a certain change of heart. As I walked into the living room, to call the kids for breakfast, I noticed Miss Annsley pawing through the candy bag. I eyed the bag nervously.
Darth had apparently gone through an overnight transformation. He said, “I told her it was OK [to go through my candy].”
I said, “Darth Vader has learned to share.”
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Parents, please don’t turn your children into the school-wide dubbed freak over a little superstition. Although Darth stormed the galaxy for a night, he resurfaced as our sweet, little Will by morning.