Friday, November 2, 2007


So here they are! If it's not that obvious, Jonathan is (was) a pumpkin and Matthew was a lion. Jonathan had been talking about little else than dressing up in his "pumpkin suit" for days, so when Halloween finally rolled around and he woke up with the sniffles, I was so disappointed in thinking that HE would be disappointed. Mommies. Just the way we are, I guess. But it turned out okay - it was over 70 degrees that day, and we only took them to half a dozen houses or so around my mom and dad's neighborhood. Matthew was delighted to be out and running around outside, even though he was dressed in a costume that, had he seen himself in a mirror, probably would've scared him like crazy. But he was clueless and looked really cute, and had a blast following around his big brother. He doesn't quite "get it" yet, and didn't mind when his entire bucket of candy got emptied into Jonathan's bucket of candy (now, gee, wonder how THAT happened!), but I'll bet he won't be so reasonable next Halloween!
Lastly, a family picture...taken at my mom's just after we got back from trick-or-treating. Me and Mark dressed in our standard costumes, Mommy and Daddy. Or, more appropriately, SAHM and computer geek.
Which brings me to a few thoughts on Halloween. There's a little kid in my mom's neighborhood who's got a peanut allergy. The severe kind - can't even be around peanuts. So the little guy goes around with his mom and dad, and if a Snicker's bar hovers anywhere near his little pumpkin bucket, mom and dad intervene, explain why he can't have it and generally leave empty-handed. They also have a little girl - one year old. They aren't sure whether or not she'll have the peanut allergy, too, so for now, they're playing it safe and not letting her have any of it either. Most of the folks have adjusted to this, and have something special for him of the non-peanut variety. My mom and dad made them up little bags of homemade cookies. Girl down the street had a non-peanut basket of candy, and also a basket full of little bags of goldfish for the tiny little guys. Whew - is Halloween getting hard or what? Maybe we should all start passing out pencils? Just thinking this makes me sound intolerant --- I'm not. I know how severe allergies can be and how serious this situation is. But are we to accomodate every allergy and ailment there is? What about the diabetic kids? Should we have a basket for them, too? It just feels like Halloween has just gotten too serious. When I was kid, we threw on a mask or maybe had a good idea and made a costume. We went out after dinner, rang a few doorbells of our beloved neighbors who always let us run through their yards, play with their dogs and occasionally knock their mailboxes down with our bicycles (true story!). Nowadays, it is so scheduled, so important. "Trick-or-treaters will be accomodated between 6-8 pm ONLY" reads our neighborhood association's announcement.
I'm not saying any of this is wrong. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if I had a kid who was allergic to peanuts, or couldn't eat candy, I think I would just maybe handle it a bit differently. Rather than going around, ringing doorbells, shouting "trick-or-treat!" and then announcing "OOPS! You bought something with nuts, sorry, we can't eat that!", along with a very expectant look, waiting for you to produce something else. I'm serious. This actually happened. Last year. That's how everyone knew to have something non-peanut THIS year. I just can't get my head around this. I'm thinking that somehow, these parents are teaching the wrong lesson, but I'm not sure who they're teaching it to. Can anyone shed a little light?
And finally I got to thinking that maybe Halloween is sometimes more for the adults than the kids. I know I was more excited about seeing my little guys in their little costumes than they probably were, and heck, they can do that any day of the year. So now we have a huge bucket of candy, of which, Mark and I will eat the most, I'm sure. And one kid who luckily, still has no idea what went on, and another kid who has asked me every day since Wednesday "Mommy, can I wear my pumpkin suit again?" Yeah, they get it. Funny thing, by the time they REALLY get it, they probably shouldn't be allowed to do it anymore!!

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