Posted by: Kate | October 30, 2008

I’m a Believer

If there was a way to make it official, I would do so.  I have effectively been converted.  A belief system turned on its ear, shifted 180 degrees and accepting the truth of the previously denied position.

The basis of my enlightenment?

Trick-or-treaters.

(Note: New Hampshire does trick-or-treat on the 30th. No, I don’t know why either.)

Until tonight, I hated handing out Halloween candy.  Despised it.  I had a bad night, several years ago, consisting of children who stood mutely on my doorstep waiting for dissemination of candy, children claiming that they needed an extra piece for their sick brothers at home (which, the first time it happened, I was willing to make a concession for basic creativity, but when the same kid returned an hour later with the same story, I was less amused), adults carrying infants and pretending like the candy was for the nonverbal baby who likely doesn’t even eat solid food yet, one particularly irritating little girl who attempted to push past me to get to the bowl of candy on the steps… well, I was disillusioned and bitter, to put it lightly.

Not bitter about all things Halloween, just about that one particular activity.  I actually love Halloween, and I think I do a pretty good job of it.

Thus, in the intervening years, we had an agreement: I would create all costumes, purchase candy, decorate the house, and generally prepare for the event, and then Willem would stay home to pass out candy while I took our kids door-to-door.  This would thereby protect me from a potential prison term, because I think it would be frowned upon if I gave in and throttled a child for refusing to dress up or say the magic words and still expecting handouts.

[Deep breaths, calm blue ocean, ohhhhmmmmmmmm…]

But this year, Willem shook up the status quo when he announced that he wanted to make Jacob’s costume.  It had always been my task before, because I consider myself fairly crafty and I also use Halloween and Valentine’s Day as yardsticks by which I measure my own busy-ness.  If I can’t find time to make my kids’ costumes and help them make Valentines, then I’m too busy overall and need to rearrange my priorities.  (And, preemptively: I don’t care whether you make your kids’ costumes and cards, I don’t consider it a reflection on my parenting skillz or yours.  OK?  OK.)

This time, Jacob wanted to be a race car driver, and Willem was immediately on-board with the planning and creation.  He did the whole thing himself, with input from Jacob, and Emily and I made her getup.  I didn’t mind sharing the process, but it meant giving Willem the chance to go out with the kids, to soak up some of the neighborly admiration at a truly cool race car.

It was not without trepidation, then, that I watched them leave and waited for the doorbell to ring.  I opened the door to a group of bundled-up princesses and grotesquely horror-film toddlers, and the unthinkable happened.

“Trick or treat!” they cried.  Every last one of them.  I handed out candy, a bit bemusedly.  “Thank you!  Happy Halloween!” they shouted, and then used the walk to return to the street, despite the fact that a beeline through the front yard would have been much faster.

Astounding.

And then, it wasn’t a one-time oddity.  Nearly every group that came to the door was similarly polite and appropriate, and the few that didn’t immediately pronounce the magic words were reasonably responsive to prompts.

Just like it was meant to be.

So, I’m willing to admit that perhaps we just lived in a neighborhood of hooligans, before moving here.  Because this year, quite unexpectedly, it was very pleasant, making children take candy from strangers.

Can I get an “Amen”?

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Responses

  1. Amen.

    Very cool costumes and jack-oh!-lanterns!

    Can’t wait for tomorrow!

  2. Did you get trick or treaters early? Or did I miss where it said you were talking about a different Halloween? Cuz here in the intellectual hell that is Washington State, Halloween is tomorrow 10/31.

    I, myself, am happy to not have go t or t in the windy, cold rain tomorrow. Gotta pick out the pluses of having older children when I see them.

  3. Erm I hate to break it to you but Halloween is the 31st October? How come you’re Trickin’ and Treaten’ a day early! Oops, should have read Janice’s comment. Yep, defo early and I should know cos it’s the 31st right now and I’m about to head home from work. Halloween for me is all over bar the shouting. I sort of wish we did have it here. Some celebrate but not with gusto like you Americans.

  4. We also don’t do Trick or Treat on the 31st around here. It’s always a day or two earlier (it was last night – the 30th) and I sat in front of my friend’s house, with her mom to greet the T or T’ers. They were so cute. I don’t enjoy the walking around with the kids (it interferes with my drinking wine schedule – Hey! It was our 15th wedding anniversary too, so Chardonnay was in order!).

  5. Are we really thinking that I somehow got the year wrong, or that I had a brief moment of telepathy? Of course they did trick-or-treat early; this is New Hampshire, where the rest of y’all’s schedules don’t much matter.

    No, I don’t know why, and I don’t like it, either.

  6. I’ve always been a Hallowe’en hater – and now that I have a youngest child with LTFA’s, it’s worse! D’Arcy was in charge of the boys’ costumes this year – check in tomorrow when I have photos. (I’m really not sure how Evan is going to manage his!) He & Willem can compare their craftiness! Boo!

  7. Wilem did a great job on the car. Awesome!!!

    We live in a very rural neighborhood with hardly any kids. One year we left the candy bowl on the porch (completely full) and left for about an hour. Came home to a completely empty bowl. I was so pissed….because that meant it had to be one of our neighbor kids. No one comes to our street to trick-or-treat. I was extremely disappointed.

  8. Fantastic. I know I always get the girls to try and wait, use the path and of course say thank you.

  9. This year is my turn to hand out candy…I did it last in 2002. Where a girl threatened me if I did not give her more Snickers Bars (which thanks to ‘breadandbreakfast’ child we don’t give out anymore) The next morning our garage door and carriage lights had been egged & broken. This ear I am excited because the kids are really excited about trick or treating…maybe I’ll take cues from EvilTwinswife sit out front drink a few ‘beverages’ andhand candy out-that is soundy more grand every moment!

  10. Love, love LOVE the pumpkins. Carving wicked hard pumpkins is a yearly event here– I always watch.

  11. Trick or Treat, Kate!
    You did send mine via snail mail, didn’t you? It hasn’t got here yet… Hey, if every day can be Christmas, Halloween can be the 30th. The idea is the candy, let’s focus here. 😉

  12. We always make BB say the magic words and thank you. And Shane gets really annoyed with him if he walks in someone’s lawn instead of the sidewalk. I have noticed that the other kids in the neighborhood where we walk around are also pretty well behaved. I’m so glad they are, too, because I’d have a hard time keeping my mouth shut with rude kids.

    Very cute costumes. That race car kills me!

  13. I love it! We didn’t get one darn trick or treater this year, but you can bet that if we did and they didn’t say “trick or treat” I’d have just stared at them until they did.

    Love the costumes and poses!

  14. Very cute costumes! 🙂


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