Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ghoulies, Beasties, and Ghosties

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

~Scottish Saying or an old Cornish prayer

Halloween, it seems, is as much for the adults as it for kids these days. No longer can parents send their children out into the cool October night to trick or treat around their neighborhood. These days, it is essential for an adult to accompany a child on his/her rounds of the neighborhood lest there be a predator lurking. No longer can the kid rush home to begin tasting their treats. Most parents these days go through the kids’ goody container to ensure that each piece of candy is securely wrapped - anything that isn’t tightly wrapped is tossed into the garbage can. Gone are the days of homemade goodies for the wee ghosties and ghoulies.

We adults perpetuate Halloween because it gives us permission to buy lots of our favorite candy - and, of course, eat it when the kids don’t show up at our door. Some of us take most (but not all) of it to the office to share with our co-workers so we won’t eat the whole thing. I have a friend who wants to save her coworkers from themselves so she doesn’t take any left over candy to the office, instead she freezes the bags (she loves Milky Ways) telling herself that she’s also saving herself from herself. Somehow, though, within a few weeks, a check of her candy-less freezer tells the story.

I have to admit I love answering the door to the wee ones. I love seeing the tiny Darth Vaders, Polar Bears, and ballerinas. The kids positively strummed with excitement at being ghosties and ghoulie, at being out at night, and at all that candy they’re getting. One three-year-old knocked on my door last year, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what she was. When asked, she told me she was a birthday cake complete with blue writing. I recently ran into her mother in the local park, I asked what the now four-year-old wanted to be this year, and I was told that she was going to be a good witch. I hadn’t known that good witches have yellow hair and wear purple, but now I do. You’ve got to admire the imagination behind the homemade costumes.

If truth be told, I miss the excitement of being out there myself.

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