It had to happen eventually – both my children were home on Halloween. My husband, oldest daughter and I went to a Halloween party for about an hour at a family friend’s house. They had a bonfire and a warm dinner feast. I made my oldest daughter dress up in the costume she made for the anime convention last April. My husband and I wore funny hats my children had in their collections. My youngest was at driver’s education class.
I am okay with my high school kids trick or treating if they want; there are worse things they could be doing. But they are at an age when they’re not sure it’s worth the effort and they want to be with friends.
I may have ruined it for them this year because earlier in October I put my foot down and told them I would not be running them all around town to drop off and pick up at their friends’ houses like I did last year. It was still a school night, they are both in high school, so homework is always an issue now, and they weren’t going to miss school because they were out too late or in some sort of candy-induced stupor. Since neither of them have driver’s licenses yet, their area of travel was limited.
I left my husband and daughter at the Halloween party while they finished their meal to pick up my youngest. We stopped for one of her neighborhood friends so they could hang out for awhile and give some homage to the usually festive evening. Then I left them at the house to pass out candy as I went and collected my husband and other daughter.
I laugh every year saying we must be home to catch the three trick or treaters who make it to our house. We are at the end of a long string of three neighborhoods and I think my fellow neighbors perpendicular to my street are not so much in the spirit, because trick or treaters are greeted with a row of dark houses and turn around before they round the corner to my house.
Before I got home from the party, my daughter and her friend opened the door to the first group. My daughter told me how cute they were as they bumped into each other on the front porch worming into the primo candy spot, while their parents stood on the street and watched them maneuver into place.
I listened to my daughter’s first candy-passing out tale as I remembered when it was her jockeying for space and I was standing on the street glowing with pride that my kids were begging for candy on their own. How cute they were; unsure, yet determined to get the treat instead of the trick.
The next two groups were my neighborhood mom friends and their kids, who are all still in elementary school. The fact they are way around the corner from my house tells me they are sick of me whining about no one making it to all the way down our street so they did it out of pity.
I did not disappoint, I was on the front porch taking pictures of their kids, not just because they were all so cute, but also because I didn't have any pictures of my kids trick or treating. So not only did I have pity trick or treaters because my block is not THE block to trick or treat on, but I had to take pictures of other people’s children so I have a Halloween scrapbook page.
I did end up having fun with the party and all, but it has all backfired on me. My kids now know I buy tons of candy just in case we someday get a lot of trick or treaters (yeah, that’s my story) and they will probably never leave home on Halloween again.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to writing about the humor amidst the chaos of a family. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com. Her column is available every week at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Lifestyles section.