Monday Musings from Melinda by Melinda M.
The scariest thing for me this Halloween is watching time march on.
When we first moved in, as a clueless young couple, we had no idea what Halloween would be like in this neighborhood of 200 homes. So we bought a big bag of candy or two, threw up a few decorations and gleefully waited for the little princesses and Jedi warriors to arrive. By 6:30 pm we were all out of candy.
Sitting shamefully in the dark, we giggled quietly about our inexperience over a bottle of wine. The next year, I think our candy lasted until 7pm at which point, we passed out travel size toothpaste that my dentist dad had left us on his last visit, confident that in so doing we were guaranteeing that no one would return to our house the next year (actually, most of the kids were pretty darn excited about the toothpaste!).
It wasn’t long after that that our family of friends solidified — friends with kids the same age as ours who lived in nearby areas but without the sidewalks and cul-de-sacs of our neighborhood.
And so a wonderful tradition was borne: a quick dinner for the kiddies, bring a bag of candy for the stash and send them off, with the moms one year and the dads the next, while the dads one year and the moms the next stayed in the garage, eating, drinking and passing out candy.
Ours wasn’t the only house with a candy business in the front and a party in the back. Up and down the street, our neighbors set themselves up in their open garages around a 6 foot table and a half dozen coolers of beer. The protocol is that kids come up to the gregarious adults, receive their candy, usually in a pre-made baggie, and go on their way. Rarely is a doorbell involved. There were usually three or four houses that had converted their garages into haunted houses, which over time our kids got brave enough to enter. Big props to them, very impressive. Of course, rain made its appearance at some point in the evening, either causing the holiday to get a late start or an early finish, depending on its ferocity.
Then it happened: one or both of my girls got sick, forcing the others to start finding alternatives. The next year we were able to wrangle everyone back but it was the beginning of The Change. Now the kids have close friends from other parts of their lives and won’t be pushed easily into where mom and dad want to be which is with our own friends, drinking beer, eating candy and making memories to last a lifetime. Maybe that’s where this tradition is headed – back at our house, just the parents, sharing wine, candy and lots of laughter. That would be good fun.
Happy Halloween, everyone!