Last year we had light snow for Trick-or-Treating. This year, it rained, not so lightly. Less cold; more wet. But Halloween is not for the faint of heart, nor the dry of clothes, so we took it as it came.
This year, we had a large group to Trick-or-Treat, including other parents to manage the marauding hordes. My wife, who is in charge of manning the home base, handing out candy, and pouring the wine, asked me to heat up some cider in a crock pot before our crew set out foraging. It was a good idea. A warm beverage would hit the spot when we got back from our raiding in the rain.
Big Man got just a taste of Trick-or-Treating before the weather encouraged me to take him home. Buster, and most of the other kids, got a moderate dose of Halloween and a moderate dose of wet before they, influenced heavily by parents, called it a night.
Big Brother, two of his friends, myself, and another father got good and wet, as we went back out to brave the storm after dropping the others off at home.
Those last three kids will always remember this as the Halloween everybody stepped in a mud puddle. Nobody stepped in the same mud puddle, and some of us stepped in multiple puddles. None of our costumes included waterproof footwear.
A surprising number of people were out, considering the weather. Most had umbrellas, devices we rarely use and have never considered on Halloween. I began seeing more and more adults carrying paper coffee cups. It was like there was a Starbucks in the middle of our neighborhood suddenly.
The kids wanted to keep going; I couldn’t stop them, because, soaked as I was, I admired their tenacity. A little rain on their heads wasn’t going to stop them. A lot of rain on their candy might, though. Only when they noticed their candy getting wet did they entertain ideas of going home. Wet, cold skin is one thing, but children must keep their candy safe.
Eventually they agreed it would be irresponsible to risk the candy they already had to get a little more. We made our way home, not overlooking lit up houses on the way.
We got home, chilled and wet, but deserving the candy we’d collected, and most certainly a hot cup of cider. I went to the crock pot. Empty.
“Where did all the cider go?”
“Oh,” my wife replied. “I’ve been giving it out to the parents of Trick-or-Treaters.”
Welcome to the community Starbucks.
“People really liked it,” she added to sooth my disappointment. “One lady took five cups.” I wasn’t as soothed as she thought I’d be by the success of her Halloween largess. “We’ve got more cold cider in the fridge,” she concluded.
We poured more into the crock pot. While we waited, the other cold dad and I enjoyed a glass of scotch. That was better than crying over the spilled milk of human kindness.