Halloween 2012 is upon us (and has been for the past few weeks). While Halloween means lots of different things to people, our family always has a fun time with it. While shying away from the gore and violence all-too-often associated with the holiday, we instead celebrate the youthful excitement, mystery and innocence of the day and night.
What other day of the year do so many neighbors throw open their doors to perfect strangers? At what other time to entire subdivisions let down their manicured hedges and interact with the people from up and down each street? And at what other time in their lives can children venture out so fearlessly* on a night famous for its tricks, its treats and its whispered autumn promises?
For parents, Halloween represents a precious opportunity to interact with their children on a very special level. For how long will they think Halloween is still “cool?” How many dear-sweet years do we have before the disdain and indifference of adolescence settle in, replacing costumes and screams with blank stares and “Halloween is so lame, dad” remarks?
As for myself, I crack the bone of each Halloween and suck out its marrow happily. For just a few short twilight hours, the clock stops, the sun sets and I grab the swiftly-fading sight of my children filling baskets and bags full of treasured autumn sweets.
I fill a bag, as well, full of memories and mental snapshots I pray never dim. I remember pulling them in wagons that magical night when their little legs were too tired to walk another house. As years passed, they walked beside me, hand-in-hand. Now, and this hurts a little and makes me proud all at once, they walk a few cautious feet ahead and let me know they don’t need daddy to come all the way to every front door with them.
But daddy is there, watching, loving and, yes, hovering a bit. Daddy is there, counting each ringing doorbell and shared candy as the irreplaceable memory that it is. As I watch them walk down the shadowy streets amongst a sea of other parents probably lost in their own worlds of nostalgia and pumpkin-lit joy, I see and love them. Pirate. Princess. Cowboy. Vampire. Witch. The costumes may change, the people in them may stretch their bones and age, but that night, that one special night, it all stops to rest in the hands and hearts of mommies and daddies everywhere. This daddy included. This daddy is there.
So this Halloween, enjoy the moments with your little ones. In the blink of an eye, the last jack o’ lantern flame will sputter and die, waiting to be relit next year. What that year holds, none of us can know. So take that amazing night and make it your own, and their own, forever.
Happy Halloween from your friends at Think Huge!
*While Halloween can and should be a blast, there are important safety matters of which to be mindful. We encourage you to view a few of them here.