“Trick-or-Character Development” – Halloween makes us better men

Another Halloween has come and gone, and my son and I are both better men for it. It was not the best weather we’ve ever had, but it could have been worse. There was a light mist in the air and it was pretty chilly. Considering what others were going through this Halloween, we felt fortunate to be able to trick-or-treat at all.

I’m glad we got to go, because it gave us both a chance to demonstrate how much we’ve grown since last year.

This year we took two friends along with us: a six-year-old and a two-year-old (the baby stayed home to pass out candy with mom). Nothing makes you more aware of the differences between a first-grader, a preschooler, and a toddler than trying to take such a motley crew from house to house in the dark.

The two older kids forgot all about the toddler and I as soon as they got out the door. I’ve been chasing a preschooler around so long, I’ve forgotten how slowly two-year-olds run. If I had a candy bar for every time I had to yell, “Wait for us!” I’d have, well, about as much candy as we now have in the house.

skunk boy ready to go

We’re ready to go out and get that candy! This year, we might even say “Trick or Treat” at some doors, not because we like saying it, because we’re more mature now and we know it’s the right thing to do.

By the time I’d realized my folly in not bringing a wagon, we were too far into the jungle of houses to go back. The big kids didn’t want to slow down and the little kid couldn’t speed up. Guess what slow-witted adult got to carry her. Two-year-olds are much heavier than babies; seems like I’ve forgotten a lot about two-year-olds.

There should be some kind of consortium where children can be brought in and redistributed to trick-or-treating chaperons by age, so that one adult doesn’t have to try to keep track of several children spread out over a block of houses – but mostly so no aging parent has to wake up on All Saints Day with an aching back.

We finally looped around to where we could drop off the toddler at home and then get some serious trick-or-treating done. When my son saw the welcoming lights of home, he decided he was getting a little tired too. The six-year-old would have gone longer, but not without his friends. Our night was over.

Lest you think the night was a disappointment, here is the good news. We quit with an entire hour left to trick-or-treat, and I didn’t even put up any stink about it. I didn’t give anybody any flak about being soft; I didn’t act like a greedy, Type A, German Virgo at all. Now, you might chalk this up to sore arms or cold hands, but I call it spiritual growth.

And the news gets even better. My son willingly said, “Trick-or-Treat” at half of the houses we went to. He didn’t even make it sound like he was only saying it to avoid receiving an electric shock or some such punishment. He said it almost nearly like he meant it.

All in all, it was great night for our family. I hope someone is holding onto these moments because it’s true: we grow up so fast.

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4 comments on ““Trick-or-Character Development” – Halloween makes us better men

  1. Traci says:

    As always, I enjoy your writing.

  2. Whew! I’m so glad it went well! Great post!

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