I sent my husband, my mother-in-law, and my sons off down the road last night as I sat on the porch, candy bucket in hand. Last year I walked the boys around our neighborhood, so it was his turn this year. I watched them walk away, squinting into the setting sun, and sighed.
My mom-friends with sixth grade children, specifically boys, lamented this being their sons’ last year trick-or-treating. My husband can’t remember if his last year was in sixth or seventh grade. Anectdotally, the only seventh grade boy in the neighborhood did not trick-or-treat this year.
I filled candy bags and pumpkins and pillow cases with some of my favorite candies as the sun dipped lower and the air got colder. Elsa. Some unicorns. A gum ball machine. Lots of super heroes—and specifically, lots of Wonder Woman. A flower. A very small It clown, which nope. Two gorillas. Two fire puppies. A lumberjack.
I loved them all, big and small, candy-grabbing and thanking. There’s really nothing more purely childhood than Halloween trick-or-treating.
The boys returned to the house, stole some of the candy from my bowl, and went inside. They asked to watch scary movies (no) and eat candy (yes). I continued handing out candy and a feeling settled over me.
He may not want to dress up and traipse around the neighborhood with his brother next year. He might though. I’m not going to lead his decision either way. It’s his. Just like it was the younger kid’s decision to be Indiana Jones and the older kid’s to be some kind of Skull solider thing. I used to be able to dress them as I wanted for Halloween. Those days are over.
And it’s okay. They make good choices that fit them well. I wish them that in all aspects of their lives.