I didn’t go Trick or Treating this year. Julia and her friend went without me and Allie, for the first time, decided not to wander the neighborhood begging for candy.
When I take a moment to think about it, I realize that with each Halloween I stood farther away from each front porch. When the girls were babies, I held them, basically to show the neighbors how cute they were in whatever costume we forced on them. Then, a few years later, I’d stand next to them and coach them on what to say to get a treat. After that, I’d remain within earshot to make sure they said, “Thank you” after a fun-sized Snickers hit the bottom of their plastic pumpkins. In later years, I’d stand in the driveway and eventually I found myself in the street, pretending that I had no affiliation with the kid on the porch.
This year I stayed on my own porch while I waited for Julia to come back. I kept myself busy. We had a giant spider, rear-projected ghoulies on the big window and a masked brother-in-law stationed next to the front walk ready to wave at the little kids and frighten the big ones. At times, there were seven of us watching the parade of costumes go by.
We had fun, but I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. I’m sure the elaborate fright show on the front porch was me overcompensating – trying to fill the gap left by not walking around with my daughters. Unfortunately, for all of my efforts, the kid count was kind of low; around 210. In the past, we easily broke 300 each year. It could be that our pool of Halloweenies is aging out. I picture Allie with one of those hand crystals they had in Logan’s Run. All the kids in the neighborhood looked down and their crystals were red this year. Time to stop trick or treating and get a 401K.
I’m not sad. The end of October is usually cold and wet. Fighting for space on the sidewalk to avoid being trampled is no longer my problem. Time spent avoiding adults who think clown masks are fun and not at all creepy is probably a thing of the past. Plus, I trade the bulk of the candy for dollars these days so Halloween really means more Twix with less effort for me.