Last year’s battle of Halloween was the kids’ standoff to replace their trick-or-treat buckets for pillow cases. Because, “Mom, you can hold way more candy in a pillow case!”
I knew this meant an equal quest for cavities and independence. I couldn’t even convince them to bring their holiday-specific, over-priced buckets back and dump them into a pillowcase, and then go back out. They wanted to go out for one candy run. The catch—they’re not coming back until the pillowcase is full.
I’m trying to remember how it is that there is a designated day of the year when all us parents lose our minds, dress up our kids (sometimes in drag), and then send them out in the dark to go knock on strangers’ doors for candy.
And yet, I send them on their merry way to collect as much candy as they can possibly fit in the pillowcase. They don’t believe me at how heavy that can get and when they’re that far away. It’ll be blocks away, and I won’t hear it, but in the dark of the night, with their burning biceps and candy weighing them down—they’ll whisper, “Mom was right.”
We’ve reached a turning point of Halloween. My kids are 11 now. And although you may think that’s still young enough to trick-or-treat, the other element is they stand taller than most adults. We can’t find age appropriate costumes in their size either. But mostly, if their quest for candy is their big desire, then it’s just time to let them pass on the torch to the 5-year-olds they may inadvertently knock over as they run from door to door.
So, we have The Talk. Consider it the Geneva Negotiations of Halloween 2014. It’s time to retire from trick-or-treating. In return for my demands, my precious tweens have made their own: take the money I spend on their costumes and buy them all of their favorite candy. I tack on a few toothbrushes and floss. With a few nods and pinky promises, we agree. As we all grieve a rite of passage for a kid—trick-or-treating, we bid farewell.