Thursday, October 30, 2008


Our neighborhood had Trick-or-Treating on October 25th from 1-5 in the afternoon. I took the kids out in their costumes and enjoyed watching my wee one really get into the spirit of begging for candy. At the same time, my insides were turning over.

Who ever heard of Trick-or-Treating in the middle of day under blue sparkling skies? I understand that our neighborhood wants to consider the safety of the children—and I appreciate that. But why do we have to suck the fun out of childhood? Isn’t the point of Halloween to get scared? Even if it’s just a little bit?

My son and I were watching “The Great Pumpkin”—the classic Halloween special starring the Peanuts gang. We laughed at Snoopy’s dancing and antics. We giggled when Charlie Brown kept getting rocks while the others got piles of candy. But while we watched, I could only focus on one thing. There is something so beautiful about the night sky in that cartoon. It is mysterious and deep and beyond our imagination. Its darkness sends lovely little chills up my spine.

Halloween is the one night of the year when it’s acceptable to skulk about in the darkness. There is something thrilling about becoming someone or something else and lurking in the shadows—even though you know your parents are right there behind you, and your friends are at your side, and no one is really scared by your costume. The feeling of becoming part of the vast darkness is freeing and chilling.

I am saddened by the fact that my kids won’t get to experience the Halloween I remember. It seems like childhood is so structured and controlled now—with organized activities and playgroups instead of pick-up games of kick the can in the backyards. I would love to give my kids the gifts of spontaneity and adventure.

Maybe this Halloween, when all the other neighborhood kids are safe in their beds, I’ll take my kids out and do a little skulking in the dark.


Kelly said...

Ann, take them to our neighborhood tomorrow night!
We usually start trick or treating when it is light, but then it gets darker and darker. It's spooky and fun...the best is when there is a full moon!

Ann E. Bryson said...

Thanks Kelly! What time do they start?