This year, we let Henry, Jack, and Sophie choose their own costumes. Surprise, surprise: we ended up with a Doggie, a Milo, and a Monkey. If you haven’t met them yet, you might not understand just how deeply their loyalties lie when it comes to their special animals, but Henry, Jack, and Sophie are as attached to their beloved animals (and any and all of their distant cousins and relatives) as they are to “their” colors (blue, green, and pink).
This was also the first year we went trick-or-treating. They still don’t really understand candy (not to mention that Sophie is fatally allergic to most of it), and when I asked them the first few times if they wanted to go trick-or-treating, they had mixed feelings about it. When the candy came out that night at our apartment (we were offering peanut- and tree-nut free Hershey’s kisses), they weren’t sure what to do with it. Jack was the first to realize they were edible, and when he asked, “Can I eat it?” and I replied, “Yes!” he popped the whole thing in his mouth. Wrapper and all.
I’ll set the scene as we were getting ready to go out the door on Halloween night. Everyone is (finally!) in their costume. Their mouths are covered in chocolate from the Hershey’s kiss I allowed them each to eat. There is a fight over which pumpkin bucket they want, and it takes me a while to realize that Sophie wants the one we are leaving for the neighbors. The one with all the candy in it. And it’s not the bucket she wants. It’s the candy. As I am trying to get them into the wagon (I am flying solo for trick-or-treating and considering braving the streets, but not without the wagon!), our doorbell rings. I open the door, and a little girl dressed as a witch, and her mom, stand on the other side, bag outstretched, saying, “Trick or treat!” I give her the candy and close the door, and immediately, Henry, Jack, and Sophie look up at me and say, “Again?”
We were out the door. They LOVED every second of it. They didn’t understand why we didn’t go inside these other houses we visited, and they still don’t really understand candy, but as we made our way home with their sticky, lollipop-covered hands and faces, they kept asking, “Can we go Halloween again?” and saying, “I want to see one more neighbors.”
I’d never really thought of Halloween as a time to visit with your neighbors, meet new people, or just get out and say hi to the people in your neighborhood, but for us (for this year at least), that’s really what it was. And I’d say that’s a totally reasonable (and somewhat wonderful) reason to don a silly costume and walk (or roll) around knocking on doors way past bedtime one night out of the year.
The candy doesn’t hurt either.