Halloween Post-Mortem - Page 2
We came in the front door shouting and panting and sent my dad outside to drive off any remaining candy nabbers. That was the first rush of adrenaline followed shortly by the second which came when we began eating our winnings. And it was a Halloween experience that would stay with me forever - or at least up through now.
If we take that time machine back to the present day, you can understand a small facet of my Halloween perspective. Sometimes I ask myself if in some ways I've become the grumpy ol' man always grumbling about those darn meddlesome kids making trouble on Halloween. But most of the time I'd prefer to believe that I'm simply a concerned father, merely aiming to guide and protect my own kids.
Some years we find a smashed pumpkin or three, maybe a few eggs tossed, and we usually observe half a dozen groups of kids who seem a bit old for trick-or-treating and who usually don't bother wearing costumes as they beg for candy. Those darn meddlesome kids!
These days I don't dress up any more, but I love watching my kids and the building of their excitement in the days leading up to Halloween. Every year, a few weeks before the big day, we visit a pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay to pick our pumpkins large and small, orange and green. And usually the night before we'll carve and decorate a few pumpkins, transforming them into jack-o-lanterns and all-around works of art. Then we head off to a friend's neighborhood to partake in festivities. It feels good to get away from those pesky kids in our neighborhood.
Continued on the next page
Last year we joined in tricks and treats in a Los Gatos neighborhood where they've made it a tradition to treat parents with wine pours - kids hold out bags for candy and moms and dads hold out wine glasses. This year we visited a new neighborhood, preceded by a dinner at a friend's house where there were a bunch of children around our kids' ages. The kids had a blast and the parents had a Happy Halloween as well.But, I did make one mistake this year. Before we left our neighborhood for another, my wife and I bought loads of candy and dumped it all into a bucket, and then left it on the front step with a note that read, "Please take 5 pieces of candy." We placed our trust in our neighbors and their kids to be honest. There was no way that we had enough foot traffic in our neighborhood to empty that bucket by the time we got back home a few hours later - as long as everyone was practicing honesty on Halloween. When we returned, the grumpy ol' man in me was reaffirmed in the belief that our neighborhood is full of pesky, meddlesome, mischievous, no-good kids. The bucket had been emptied and the frame bent. In perspective and in truth, the few had ruined it for the many.