Like every kid on the planet, I loved Halloween. I loved dressing up and running down hallway after hallway (in New York City, you trick or treat in apartment buildings), and most of all loved going home that night and sorting through my candy, organizing it into piles according to a very specific hierarchical system I’d developed over the years, with Snickers at the top and Red Hots at the very bottom along with those weird-flavored Tootsie Rolls and anything involving black licorice.
But ever since I graduated from the trick or treating stage, Halloween has been one of my least favorite holidays – sort of like New Year’s, it just feels like so much pressure. YOU MUST HAVE FUN TONIGHT. You know.
(Starlord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon and Groot from Guardians Of The Galaxy, in case you weren’t sure.)
I am happy to announce that it is now a serious contender for my favorite holiday of them all. Because my years of pouring myself into some “sexy” costume or another and spending my evening freezing to death while wandering around Bushwick trying to find that party that someone said was fun but is fifteen blocks from the nearest subway stop are over; now that we have children who are right there in their prime Halloween years we get to go all-in. And so I painted myself green and ordered a raccoon hat for my daughter from Etsy and spent all day long working my son into a lather about the events to come, and then TRICK OR TREATED.
With wine in solo cups, because that’s what you get to do when you’re trick or treating as a grown-up.
Now that’s fun.
People say that one of the best things about having kids is that you get to reexperience all the excitement of your own childhood, and it’s true. This was our son’s first year trick or treating – he wasn’t really into the costume thing last year, and was sick, and it was raining, and all that added up to a big no thank you – and watching him run up to house after house and then run back to us shrieking “I got CANDY!” before running off to the next one was one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had as a parent thus far. (Also, when we got home and asked him if he wanted to eat his candy he said “No, I want something healthy.” Which is crazy, and also has absolutely nothing to do with my parenting skills – I just appear to have the only child in the world who’s not all that into sweets – but whatever, I’ll take it.)
Summary: it was magic, and I can’t wait to do it again and again and again.
P.S. Just because this was so creepy and weird that it bears mentioning, on the way home we were driving down a dark, empty road, and all of a sudden a werewolf crossed our path and completely freaked us out. It may also have been a coyote, but I’m going to just call it a werewolf, because one is just as bizarre to see while driving home on Halloween night as the other.
P.P.S. Wow, did this ever take a long time.