Wednesday, November 01, 2006



It's one of my favorite holidays. And for the past three years I have felt very gypped because I didn't get to hand out candy. Well, I say, "didn't get to," but by that I really mean, "chose not to."

Our first year in our house in Connecticut I was still pregnant with Ethan. I dressed up as a cat (I am always, always a cat for Halloween. I already have the ears, and all it really takes to do the rest is an eye pencil) and was very excited about handing out candy. I always look forward to seeing all the adorable costumes.

Imagine my disappointment when it dawned on me that everyone coming to the door was a teenager. On a skateboard. Holding a pillowcase. Without even an attempt at a costume. Oh, sure, a couple of them told me "my mask is in my backpack if you want to see it, but I took it off because I can't skate with it on." I ended up peeking through the window when the doorbell rang, and if I didn't see a costume, I didn't open the door. Which means that I didn't open the door at all. Which means I had most of the candy left at the end of the night. Which, really, for a pregnant woman, is that SUCH a bad thing? No, actually. A huge bowl of leftover Halloween chocolate? Bring it on.

The next year, shortly before Halloween, in the middle of the night, someone threw a pumpkin through the back window of our truck. Glass was everywhere, seeds and pulp were everywhere, and the pumpkin landed on the front floorboard. The neighbor came over to tell me about it, and I was in shock. I was so upset I vowed I would not give out candy that year. I was not about to unknowingly hand out candy to the punks who vandalized our truck. And I felt very bitter.

Last year, we moved here to Texas. We came to our house, which was under construction, to do a walk-through and dicsovered more vandalism. A group of kids had stolen the key, tramped clay all through the carpets, nuked a lightbulb in the microwave, and did all sorts of other minor damage. According to the builder, they were a group from the neighborhood, and it wasn't the first time he'd had a problem with them. Again I vowed that not a morsel of candy would these kids get. And I felt very bitter.

This year, I let up a little. It's been an uneventful year, nothing has happened to the house, and I was letting myself get excited about Halloween again. I dug out Ethan's costume from last year (which actually fits him perfectly - last year it was too big), and again I donned my cat getup, and I left Dave here with a costumed Aidan to hand out our candy while I took Ethan out in the neighborhood. I didn't see one kid who didn't have on a costume. There were so many kids (and so many adorable costumes) that we actually ran out of candy (three bags!). Our "jacket lantern" (as Ethan so eloquently calls it) didn't get smashed, our house was not vandalized, and the streets of our neighborhood were filled with children celebrating the holiday as it should be done. It was wonderful, and it was beautiful.

And I'm glad we did it. Even if Ethan didn't understand the concept of standing on the porch for trick-or-treating. He thought when someone opened their door, you were supposed to go in. So I did a lot of chasing him through strangers' houses. But it was still fun.

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