There are a ton of kids who live around us and they play in the courtyard behind our house all the time. They LOVE to play with Moose so sometimes I walk him back there to let them play fetch with him. A couple of days ago, after they wore Moose out and we played hide-and-seek, I started to leave and I said, "Thanks for playing with us!" The youngest little girl yelled, "Thanks! You're the best!" That felt good. I said, "No you are! Have a happy Halloween!"
The kids all stopped smiling and stood there looking all defeated and said, "We don't celebrate it." I'm pretty sure they even kicked the leaves in the grass in front of them. I wanted to say, "I'm so sorry! That's the saddest thing I've ever heard! Come to my house and I'll celebrate it with you!" But of course, I just said, "Oh I see. Well have a fun week! I'll bring Moose out again soon!"
I'm sure they are used to having to explain to people that they don't celebrate Halloween, but I still felt bad about bumming them out. But then it happened again.
Naturally, seeing a little kid on Halloween makes me ask things like "What are you going to be for Halloween?!" and "Are you excited to Trick-or-Treat?!". So when I saw Lou, his son runs up to me and says, "Hello." I say, "Hello! It's so good to see you! Are you excited for Halloween?"
Poor kid looks at the floor and says, "I can't do Halloween." Since I know that Lou doesn't have a religious reason for his kids not celebrating Halloween, I assume his son doesn't like it or gets scared. So I pour salt on the wound and say, "Oh really? Do you not like it?" and he says, "No I do like it! But my mom wont let me go!" oops. I look at Lou and try to give him a look that will say 'Sorry I riled up your son about how unfair this is!' He smiles at me. I say to his son, "Its okay, buddy, it can still be a fun day!" Lou smiles and says, "Yeah!"
For us, our Halloween was a mellow one. We went to a haunted house a few days ago with Hayley, my sis-in-law. It was pretty scary. (After the haunted straw maze in Rexburg, nothing is as scary to me as it once was.) I did fall down once while running away from a man with a fake chainsaw. That and people on stilts scare me the most in haunted houses. And somehow I always fall down at least once.
Just before I left work, Lou's son came up to me and asked if i can use my computer to play games. I told him, "I need it for about a half an hour, and then you can have it. Would you like me to come find you when I'm all finished?" He looked at me for a second and said, "You don't have to find me because...well...I can just find my own self." I struggled to hold back a laugh. So funny! I said, "Okay buddy." Then he ran off.
Five minutes later I took a document to one of my co-workers and when I got back all my stuff had been piled up on the desk and there was Lou's cute blond son sitting at the computer clicking away at a pinball game.
He wasted no time! I felt bad about our Halloween conversation so I let him keep playing. I went over and gathered my stuff and said, "You found yourself so fast!" He didn't look away from the computer and said, "Uh huh!" I laughed and told him I'd see him later.
Kids are so cool.
Speaking of Halloween... I have a Halloween pet peeve. It has always bugged me when parents claim their kids' trick-or-treating candy. For example, some families let their kids pick a handful of their favorites and then everything goes into a "Family Pot". Other parents will try to sneak handfuls of their candy away to limit the amount their kids eat. Others see their kids' candy stash as theirs and they get excited and eat it all.
This blows my mind for more than the following reasons:
- You are an adult. If you want candy, you just go buy some of your own.
- This might surprise you, but your kids don't go trick-or-treating to meet the neighbors.
- They work hard for that candy! Every time someone puts something in their bucket they gets SO HAPPY. Don't rob them, it's just mean.
- Halloween is once a year. Let them eat Candy!
Anyway, time to get excited for Thanksgiving- My favorite Holiday!
Pumpkin picture by Kristen Pierson.