Friday, October 31, 2014

On Halloween

Working with some fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at school this morning, our chatter about costumes for tonight turned to a more enlightening discussion. Was anyone allowed to go out trick or treating alone or with just a group of friends?

Turns out those days are over; overshadowed by a more protective modern day approach to chaperoning the event of Halloween and our precious charges.

 Gone are the days of racing at breakneck pace with a pack of friends, hitting each and every house (back then everyone participated and left porch lights on for costumed visitors) until ten or eleven at night. My siblings and friends and I would cover miles and miles all on our own (without cell phones) and arrive back at home four hours later dripping in sweat on a freezing cold night. We never got sick, we were never terrified, and we were never abducted! Were we just lucky or are times really so different?

The next bit was the best bit, as we dumped our candy haul into a pile on the floor and would spend the next hour sorting brands into piles - M&Ms, Sweet Tarts, Snicker bars and the like... comparing, sharing, and trading.

We never ate much of the candy, as there was, after all, an entire pillowcase full. In the coming week, the bundle would be picked through but most of the candy lost it's appeal and eventually it was thrown away. What could you possibly do with all that candy? (* a modern day twist with a cool answer to this problem is at the bottom of this post).

The fifth and sixth grades mark that awkward phase when a child is too cool for the pageantry of a "cute" Halloween but suddenly self conscious about gamely joining in with the silly, lighthearted part of Halloween. My boys are too grown up for those hilarious matching chicken suits that kept them in fits of giggles, no longer so sure of how they feel about donning a mask to wear to a party (though they wear it about the house building up to the big night).

Is the night of tricks and treats still the same as we guide our little ones around our manicured block in their Pottery Barn costumes? The excitement and mystery and festival of Halloween are still intact. Each year we just stand further and further away to give our kids the illusion of running free.

photo source:

Pluff Mud Kids salute Dr. Randy's Operation Buy Back Candy Program offered by Dr. Randy pediatric and adolescent dentistry. There are two opportunities to drop your candy: Saturday, November 1st at Daniel Island Park Day and at Dr. Randy's office on Saturday, November 8th. For more info, visit operation gratitiude.

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