By Judi Curry
The Halloween for 2013 has sure changed. In the olden days – 2012 and before – hundreds of young costumed children would knock on my door in their cute Halloween costumes, yelling “trick or treat.” Sometimes only one child would be at the door when answered; sometimes several.
Later in the evening, some of the “older” children would knock on the door with the same message, and they always received the same treat as the younger ones.
When my children were younger, we usually met the parents with a flask of Brandy Alexanders – to ward off the chill of the evening, of course.
Still later in the evening we would begin to have children knock on the door that spoke languages that were different then the local neighborhood kids, and even later in the evening the high schoolers would begin their round of houses that still had inviting lights flashing in the pumpkins, from the roof tops, and in the doorways.
Not this year.
The first group – and I mean group – of children arrived just as it was getting dark. There were 9 children in the group, and standing outside in my driveway were almost as many parents watching their children knocking on the door. And almost to a child everyone of them thanked me for their “treat”, while the lingering parents would say, “did you say thank you.” And it continued that way almost all evening. Children came in groups; parents were in the background. All of the children, even the little ones that could barely talk, said “thank you.”
One little boy, when given his treat, asked me if I had anything except chocolate. When I answered in the negative, he said he was so sorry but he couldn’t eat chocolate and would have to leave without his treat. But he quickly told me that he would not “trick” me, because I tried! (I have already made a mental note for next year to look for things that are not chocolate to give out.)
Later in the evening middle school/jr. high school students came by, but, surprising to me there were adults with them also. And I only had one group of children that spoke a language other than English. Sure, there were 14 in the group, but far fewer than any other year. And they had their parents with them, also in costume!
So what made this year so different? Not really sure, but can only surmise that the shootings, the early release of prisoners including sex offenders, the hit and run drivers, etc. made parents more aware of the potential dangers facing young children today. The fact that the local school did not have a carnival on Halloween evening was probably a factor. (Why it was held on Saturday instead of the actual day is a mystery to me. Have a school carnival; keep kids safer.)
It was a wonderful Halloween from my standpoint. Wonderful, that is, until the bastards in the neighborhood began to shoot off their firecrackers just before 8:00pm. That was the end of trick or treating at the Curry household. Buddy was scared to death; had to close the door and turn off the lights. But I’d like to give a special “hooray” to the parents that accompanied their children on their excursions into the dark, and sometimes scary, neighborhoods.
Your kids will remember that evening – and so will the adults that gave out treats so they wouldn’t be tricked!