I miss the Halloween I used to have as a kid. So does my mother. She decorated the front yard, put on spooky music, dressed up and played the piano. The sidewalks were full. Trick or treat was a family affair and it went on for hours.
Every year she continues to buy candy "just in case" but the neighborhood has changed. The children have grown and moved away. And let's face it - Halloween in many places has become either taboo or confusing. No one knows what to do anymore. Trunk or treat? Say what? Go to the mall? Wander Wal-mart in costume?
Add to it this year our weather became severe so many cities postponed the trick or treat event until Friday night. But some didn't. Our's was one of those NOT officially moving but so many other cities in our county had that it was just confusing. Some die-hard enthusiasts stood out on their front porches, homes decorated from yard to roof-top to meet the occasion. Them in costume and candy galore. I know because we drove past them, the wind howling, the Charmings in the backseat and me trying to suggest McDonalds for treats. It wasn't a fit night our for man or monkey.
So last night, in an effort to salvage the event for the children we piled in cars and went to my sister's neighborhood. Some neighbors were out in force, sitting on porches, candy within arms reach. We hit a few houses with the monkey running down the middle of the empty street turned loose and full speed. Do you know how long it takes a kid to learn to walk up the steps, knock on a door and ask for candy? One big brother ahead of him ahead of him and his two older cousins behind him trying to catch him and keep up with him all night.
My sister's house was in full holiday swing. Decorations, Party trays, and music. It was all downright festive. Even we Eeyore's put on our dancing shoes. So our usual Halloween door-to-door 'till you drop and carry home fifty pounds of chocolate routine was replaced by a little family party. And the monkey? How was his 2nd Halloween? All he knows it that for some reason we costumed like crazy, visited lots of friendly neighbors who liked to share, and made merry. And that he was born to dance to Motown Sound. He was captured and enraptured and baby has moves. (All attempts to upload video here have failed.)
Do I miss those Halloween's of the sixties? The ones that looked like the street scene in ET where every child in the world is on the sidewalk and in costume. You bet I do. But tradition is a funny thing. It carries on in it's own way. It evolves with the times, with the season, and with the circumstance. To me the value is in the power of story, of the family being together, and of the memories we make that matters most of all.
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