Trick or Treat
Saturday November 01st 2008, 9:28 am
Filed under: Life

(Go here to see my best Halloween costume ever.)

It drizzled off and on last night and we only got about ten trick-or-treaters at the door, all of them quite young.  (Oh dear. My husband bought the 4 2/3 pound bag of mini candy bars at Costco in anticipation of there being lots more coming than that.)

Our neighborhood has an annual block party, so that even if I can’t keep everyone’s names straight, we all know each others’ faces, which is a wonderful thing.

The doorbell rang.  A young mom with her little ones whom I didn’t recognize introduced herself as the new neighbor down the street in the “pumpkin colored house.”  Cool.

There was quite a wait, and then the doorbell rang again: four children from two families, the oldest a boy about six, the youngest a girl of maybe three and a half at the most from the nearby cul-de-sac.  The parents stayed back away from immediate sight, letting the children in their costumes have their moment.

Halloween bowl“Is there anything else?” The boy whined, picking at the bowl. “I want chocolate.”  The rubber hand came down on his with a gravelly voice, “Trick or Treat!” He grabbed it and waggled it back and forth, trying to make it do that again.  As I showed him that waving your hand in front of it without touching it made it activate, knowing that little boys like to see how things work, it was all I could do not to guffaw out loud at his disappointment, thinking, oh, me, too, hon, me too, but I didn’t pick out the candy this year, and they rarely sell Valrhona or Scharffenberger in bite sizes.  I tried to make it up to him by offering him extras of the dissed candy, and he pocketed it, sure, glad to; the five-year-old boy likewise.  They turned to go.

The two little girls were torn: clearly, their mothers had coached them well. You only take one piece.  That’s it.  Be polite.  I offered them more like the boys had gotten, and how could they disobey their moms?  But how could they leave, given an offer like that?

I rescued them by reaching into the bowl myself and putting extra into their bags, the slightly-older girl holding hers open for me.

Now, I’ve certainly been a young mom myself groaning over all the junk food my kids gleefully counted out of their loot on Halloween night after we walked them around to houses of people we knew.

This one little girl, the littlest, looked up at me with these huge eyes and these long eyelashes, and suddenly I felt I had passed the Grandma test: I was in cahoots with her. I didn’t make her disobey. But I got her what she wanted just the same; clearly my intent was simply for her to be happy, with the candy only a sign of that, and now she was ready to come in in her princess costume for a snuggle in the rocking chair and a good bedtime story.   Grandma.  I was adopted on the spot (and I knew her own Grandmas were half a world away.)  She utterly melted my heart.

Halloween became magical in that moment.

11 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Ach. Apparently my 4yo complained to the woman giving out pretzels (and yes he got spoken to about that). But the pretzels were the only thing I’d let them eat when they got home. Everything loaded with sugar would have just made bedtime even harder than it already was. Someone else handed out Play Doh. I love those two people.

Comment by amy 11.01.08 @ 11:09 am

we had a magical night here last night, with the girls being able to go off with their friends around the neighborhood and pop in and out at odd moments.

Comment by marti 11.01.08 @ 12:00 pm

We had 190 treats ready and only 30 trick or treaters came by. It’s a good thing those bite sized bars really and truly are only bite sized now.

My grown and recently moved out son stopped by. I told him to fill his pockets…..and he immediately went and got a BAG and filled it. Ha. Greedy not-so-little booger!

Comment by Marlene 11.01.08 @ 1:00 pm

I have apparently missed something, for which I am sorry, but I must ask; why are you in the hospital? The fetching blue gauze on your head is certainly attractive, but disconcerting.


Comment by Dariece 11.01.08 @ 2:22 pm

I answered privately, but I’m going to put it here, too, in case I worried anyone else, sorry about that–that post was during a four-day EEG two years ago. My left side collapses and my balance flies out the window when there’s too much visual stimulation, the aftereffects of a speeder smashing my car eight years ago today and throwing me into another one. I’ve learned to compensate by muscle feedback. I avoided using a cane for a long time, trying to force my brain to relearn how to negotiate through normal life on its own, but finally conceded it wasn’t going to happen.

Comment by AlisonH 11.01.08 @ 2:50 pm

You are lucky to have little ones come for “trick or treat”. Most of the kids here go to school parties. (sigh)

Comment by Joansie 11.01.08 @ 3:11 pm

I had many of those conversations on Halloween with my 5 year old. Don’t ask for more than one. Don’t tell the people who give you only one that another house gave you 5, etc. Trying to explain why what he considers honesty is actually rude is a tough one with a 5 year old. At least most folks loved having him, he would actually stand at the door and talk to them for a few minutes rather than just grab the candy and run. Happy Halloween!

Comment by Allison 11.02.08 @ 8:43 am

We had about 30 kids. I like the little ones the best. But Imust say, parents, if you have to carry your 3 year old because hs/she is too tired to walk, maybe it’s time to pack it in…

Comment by Carol 11.02.08 @ 8:05 pm

We take our 2 & 4 year old girls to the church’s harvest party and they love it and then we hide the candy so that they dont eat to much or we dont eat Hugs Darcy

Comment by Darcy 11.03.08 @ 12:54 am

All the world loves children (and dogs) with good manners!

Comment by Channon 11.03.08 @ 7:52 am

Aw, another heart warming story. You put me right there in the moment with you.

Comment by Amanda 11.03.08 @ 7:07 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>