For ten years, I shared photos on this blog of two boys in Halloween costumes. For a majority of those years, I chose the costumes and those two boys happily wore whatever I chose.
Then those years came during which they chose their costumes. They didn’t match. They didn’t show their faces. But they were happy, so I was happy.
And now it’s 2018. They’re just a couple of weeks away from turning 13 and 11. We’ve entered a new phase.
The near-teenager decided he didn’t want to trick-or-treat. It was not forced upon him as I am fully in the Teenagers Trick-or-Treating Is A-Okay camp. Extending childhood in an age in which we force so much on our children feels like a good choice to me. Plus, if they’re asking me for candy, they’re not engaging in any number of other bad choices Generation X made on Halloween. So yes, I was for him heading out on Halloween in some kind of costume.
He just didn’t want to.
I fear this may be genetically my fault. While I did trick-or-treat as a seventh grader, I lack a certain amount of whimsy. Or basically, I lack any amount of whimsy. I am anti-whimsical. It’s a fault of mine that I acknowledge. So maybe he gets it from me.
Whatever the case, he didn’t want to don a costume and hit the neighborhood. Fine. He wanted to hand out candy with my husband as it was his year to stand on the porch and my year to walk. This felt like an okay transition. Our older son is amazing with kids, especially young kids. It turns out he had a blast handing out candy—or, in our case, chips—to the kiddos. This makes my heart happy.
But I had a couple of hard moments walking through our neighborhood with my mother-in-law and just one of my sons. What do you mean that we’re down to one trick-or-treater? That older kid was just born yesterday or at least very recently and was a lion and a pumpkin in the same year because I couldn’t choose and then a firefighter and Sebastian and Buzz Lightyear and Waldo and Mario and some kind of Star Wars bad guy and freaking CALVIN and Spiderman and a ninja and some other kind of something I couldn’t see his face and now he’s nearly 13 leaving me to walk our candy route with a lone wolf.
That statement is funnier if you know the story of how my husband and I met as well as his username in 2001.
Anyway, it was a lovely Halloween, 2018. The rain stopped just in time to head out for candy and stayed away until after we finished the chili and cornbread I made for dinner. My trick-or-treater had a great time even if he couldn’t really see where he was going and truly struggled at houses that wanted him to “pick his own candy.” I soft yelled, “He can’t see,” from my spot at the end of each driveway. Another memory, another heart pocket.
I am thankful that we were able to share a fun evening with my mother-in-law, for a safe place to beg neighbors for candy, for these people whom I love so very, very much. But so many giggles at the lone wolf concept.