Halloween. A day that encourages children to take candy from strangers. And not only from strangers, but strangers with fake blood and a noose around their necks. I have to wonder what my kids think as we make our way around fake headstones, say hello to skeletons, and ring doorbells on a porch that features death on a zipline.
Last year they witnessed my husband and I doing a jello shot with a vampire and his "dead" wife. That must have been traumatizing on some level.
It always feels weird to walk my children up to the doorstep that includes the fake dead body with a knife stabbed in its chest and say, “That’s okay girls, yes, it appears the owners of this home stabbed someone to death. Now let’s beg for candy. Fingers crossed for Reeses cups!”
I'm trying to teach my daughters to respect and compassion. But what they hear loud and clear on Halloween is that it’s okay to step over a dead body to beg for candy.
I have to admit, there are some good costumes out there. What about the ones splattered in blood that don't say "Trick or Treat"? They freak me out. I get the shivers wondering if it really is a costume or if they just finished someone off in the field with the kitchen knife and now they have the munchies.
Then there are the princesses crying on my front doorstep because they are "fat", meaning their parents were forced to jam a winter coat under their costume and strap a hat on their head. We live in Minnesota, so we don't have a choice. Some kids are in snow pants with a Spiderman costume stretched over it. Trust me, it looks fucking painful.
And the poor parents are sprinting from house to house trying to rush the kids through the loot, rubbing their hands together while drinking spiked apple cider. “Okay good! Keep it going, keep moving guys, keep walking, let’s go, Jesus Christ it’s freezing, keep going…”
As a Minnesotan, you really have to search for a kid’s costume. I’ve had a few kids standing on my doorstep in full snow gear with a, "Hello My Name Is: FIREMAN" sticker to indicate that they are indeed a fireman underneath all the layers.
But through all the guts and gore, it's worth it. I can't deny the excitement that fills our house when they return from their "Sugar Walk." They feel brave to have conquered the house with bones reaching out of the ground/snow. Courage and Bravery are other things I'm trying to teach my kids and if Halloween gives them a little of it, then it's cool with me.
Besides, you can't beat those red, smiling cheeks when they return.