Is it any wonder I enjoy Halloween? As I watch everyone preparing for next Saturday, decorating their homes, some very anxious children too excited to wait to wear their costumes that they must wear them outside to play, I enjoy the memories that pop into my head.
No, not my Halloween as a child, or even pre-parenthood. I did my share of Halloween hijinks and trick-or-treating, and watched my share of horror movies (they just don’t make them like they used to).
Nothing beats Halloween as a parent. Sure, I looked forward to decorating the house. I even had a Halloween tree (a long story that I don’t want to talk about). But to me, I got so much joy out of the experience of Halloween, through the eyes of my daughters.
Our first trick-or-treat experience was quite interesting, amusing, and from the “official candy taste tester” position of Dad, frustrating and disappointing. It was our first night out trick-or-treating that I learned something not common with a child, she did not like chocolate. And she had no problem making that fact known, quite bluntly in fact.
“TRICK OR TREAT!” The unsuspecting neighbor reached into their tray, and grabbed a few Kit-Kat miniatures, which the taste-tester definitely approved of, and dropped them into my daughter’s plastic pumpkin she was using to collect her Halloween bounty.
And then my daughter reached into her pumpkin, and proceeded to pull all of the pieces that were just dropped in, back out, and handed them back to the neighbor. “I don’t eat chocolate.” I, the official taste-tester was shocked, either between this was the first that I became aware of this fact, or that I just lost out on a tasty treat. I looked up at my neighbor, both of us not knowing how to respond, and then my daughter said “thank you” and turned and walk away. She did not even ask for anything else.
Another tradition I enjoyed with my daughters, was one that I had experienced as a kid, the local Halloween parade. Unfortunately, it has been cancelled this year due to Covid, but prior to that, my daughters went to nearly every one.
Coincidental or not, the last time I would get to trick-or-treat with my daughters, produced another shocking event for the official taste-taster. Our direct neighbor was notorious for giving out “king size” treats. As the door opened, and “trick or treat” was called out, what did my eyes see? A king sized Hershey bar! Next to sharing a beer with the neighbors in the back yard, this was the best thing I could ever welcome into my home. There was one problem, and the taste tester was not pleased.
It was one thing for one of my daughters not to like chocolate, but with my neighbor, kids were given a choice. NO!!! Extra large DumDum lollipops, which my older daughter picked between the two choices, and her younger sister, admiring her older sibling always, followed in suit. NO!!!
From that point on, I was relegated to answering doors, no longer to be tempted.
So, now is a downtime as they have grown too old for the festivities of Halloween, and I wait. I wait for the next generation of my trick-or-treaters. Until then, I just enjoy all of the wonderful memories my daughters have given me during this time of year.