I love Halloween. It's my second favorite holiday, with the day my kids go back to school being my first. I'm a house-decoratin', gift-bag handing' out, pumpkin' carvin', strobe light plugging' in mom. I love how Halloween sort of marks the start of fall and the upcoming holiday season. I love the nonstop horror movies that play on almost every TV channel, seeing pumpkins decorate my neighbor's porches, baking decorated sugar cookies and drinking warm apple cider with my own little monsters.
But there are some moms out there who hate Halloween. Cue scary, atmospheric music. I'm not talking about moms who refuse to celebrate the holiday due to religious reasons. I know a lot of parents don't participate in Halloween due to their own personal beliefs, and I can fully understand that. I'm talking about the moms who have sucky reasons for not letting their kids go trick or treating or attend Halloween parties or even let them watch "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"
I know here at Mommyish we don't mom-judge. But in my contract it fully states that I'm allowed to be all Judgey McJudgerson as much as I wish. I'm joking. When I come across as judgey or use terms like "sucky" or I make sweeping judgements about how I hate moms who hate on Halloween I'm usually doing it with my tongue placed firmly-in-cheek. Sometimes. Mostly. But I digress. Moms who hate on Halloween for sucky reasons are just big old sucky moms who try and suck the fun out of everything and who probably hate tinsel on their Christmas trees because they are worried it will clog up the vaccuum cleaner. Or that their cat will eat it and they will have to pull a strand of tinsel out of cat-butt. These moms who hate Halloween probably hate on everything else fun and magical about childhood, like letting their kids run through sprinklers on a hot August day and letting them eat cake for breakfast on their birthday.
Moms who hate on Halloween have sucky reasons for hating it. The moms who feel it is too "commercialized" because at their local Target the shelves are stocked with candy and cheap costumes and greeting cards and a million different light up tchotkes that all make the same electronic "eerie" sound. The moms who hate on Halloween because they are worried some stranger will either feed their kid a pumpkin shaped Rice Krispie treat bedecked with razor blades or else kidnap them while their kid is out trick or treating. The moms who think all that candy is unhealthy and that a holiday that glorifies junk food should be banned. For those moms, I tell them to do what we do at my house. The kids get to eat three pieces of candy, my husband and I pick through the rest and steal the items we feel are unhealthy for our kids, and then we dole out the remainder over the course of a few weeks as an occasional treat in lieu of dessert. There is no reason for my children to have anything all yummy and chocolate and caramel filled. I can safely remove those dangerous treats and put those in a very safe place far from where they can cause any harm, like in my bedside table or in the same hiding place I keep the chocolate covered sea salt pretzels. Or in my mouth. We need to keep our kids safe ya'll.
To me Halloween is about some of the most fun parts of childhood. Dressing up in goofy costumes and running ahead in a group of friends while us grownups straggle behind them, our flashlights bouncing shadows off tree trunks. Yelling at our kids to remember to say "please" and "thank you" when a neighbor answers the door, hearing them exclaim how scary or cute or funny the kids look. Being able to stay up a bit late and be outside, sometimes on a school night, the air brisk and leaves crunching under our feet. Art directing jack-o-lantern designs and listening to them squeal as their grubby little hands scoop out piles of pumpkin guts on newspaper as Mad Monster Party plays on the TV. I love Halloween. I love hearing them upstairs as my husband gets them ready for bed, me on the sofa watching some bad scary movie, and the doorbell ringing past the time when the other kids have finished going door to door to find a group of teenagers. Kids past their Halloween prime, barely wearing anything that even resembles a costume, their awkward and shy demeanor as they say "Trick or Treat!" and giving them giant handfuls of candy or leftover gift bags, knowing soon they'll be going to parties instead of knocking on my door.
It's a scary world we live in. I know some moms hate on Halloween because of the fear that on this particular day during this particular month something terrible will happen to their child. I think when parents take the proper precautions of checking candy, making their kids travel in a group with an adult, making them wear reflective items on their clothing or carrying a flashlight, and checking for cars as they cross the street that the majority of children will be perfectly safe enjoying this holiday. In a few years, my kids will be going to parties where I'll be scared they will be served alcohol or have access to drugs. That scares me a hell of a lot more than my kids taking candy from strangers.