by Emily Cappo
The costume catalogs started appearing in our mail earlier this year, arriving even before school started. I was annoyed, as I usually am, because I like to live in the moment and enjoy the season I’m in, rather than have to think ahead about the holidays and winter chill. However, this year my annoyance was ratcheted up to another level. I realized that only one of my three boys would even be interested in browsing through these catalogs. The older two boys, at 12 and 15, have no interest in dressing up for Halloween. And that makes me pretty darn sad.
We live in a neighborhood crawling with kids, and with the houses set close together, trick-or-treating on our streets is a child’s dream. You can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Perfect terrain for Halloween. My kids could trick-or-treat for just an hour and still come back with loads of candy.
It’s also fun for us parents because we walk around as a big pack, the kids scurrying up to ring doorbells, while the adults wait in the street and chitchat. Some people have pre trick-or-treat gatherings, where they’d have pizza for the kids and beer and wine for the adults.
So this year, when the catalogs arrived way too early, I realized that I only had maybe two more years of Halloween trick-or-treating with my youngest child. Soon he’ll want to join his brothers, either handing out candy or else head off with his friends to find mischief, which hopefully wouldn’t involve egging someone’s house. And where would that leave my husband and me? Would we turn into the couple across the street, whose kids are grown, and who turn off their lights on Halloween night so no one rings the bell? That thought really depresses me.
But then I remembered that Halloween doesn’t have to come to an abrupt end for us. I thought of our neighbor down the street who decorates her yard each year with zombies reclining in lawn chairs and other scary Halloween images. She prepares her outdoor displays weeks in advance and it’s always the hit of the neighborhood. And guess how old her kids are? Both are in college. Clearly, the ages of her kids did not stop her from continuing a tradition that she obviously loves.
While I don’t expect to start going full throttle on the Halloween decorations anytime soon, I do take comfort from my neighbor’s attitude. When my trick-or-treating chaperone days are no more, I don’t have to completely say good-bye to Halloween if I don’t want to. We can still leave the lights on, hand out candy, and enjoy the young princesses and Batmans that come to our door. I just hope those costume catalogs stop clogging my mailbox by then.
Emily Cappo is a mother to three boys, ages 8, 12, and 15 and one girl dog. When not parenting, she can be found writing, blogging, playing tennis, or drinking iced tea. If you’d like to read about more of her adventures as a mom to boys, go to: http://ohboymom.com