Note: This post has been imported for “completeness” of my blog. It was originally posted on a different blog, “The Hushed Allegory”. But as time has moved along, this blog seems to be my legacy of sorts. So, I think it is fitting to roll this post (along with a few others) into these archives. The original “genesis” of this blog was the post titled, “Delighted to meet you…”.
It is on days like today, Halloween, that start pushing the feelings of age on young people like myself. I am not old by any means; I am quite young in fact. At the youthful age of 21, Halloween is seen as a time of get-togethers, or rather ‘shindigs’, instead of the trick-o-treating that once filled our heads of sweet and sugary thoughts.
Ten years ago, maybe a few more, maybe a few less, the early evening of October 31st was overwhelmed with making pumpkins glow, and quickly rushing through dinner, knowing there was a ghoulish, or in my case sporty (Halloween, a night to act as we are not really), costume, awaiting me up in my room. Our little minds never thought much about ten years down the life road. Sugar commandeered our minds on Halloween nights, not the thoughts of ‘what I’ll be spending my October 31st evening doing when I am too old to trick-o-treat.’ Did I realize that on my 21st Halloween I would be sitting in my cubicle at work hunched over a computer passing the time by writing code for computers, while nibbling on leftover spaghetti thrown into a backpack while heading out the door to work downtown after class? Probably not.
How many years ago was the last trick-o-treat? For me it was in more recent past than others I am sure, my senior year of high school. Most neighbors would cringe at the sight of an aged trick-o-treater asking (politely mind you) for candy at their door, even though it is Halloween. However, when the 18-year-old male shows up at their door with a giant pink bunny costume, a few chuckles and a smile usually bring a few pieces of candy past the threshold.
The later years of trick-o-treating were delightful, but nothing compared to the years of parental accompaniment. I remember walking the sidewalks with brothers beside and parents behind, thinking through all the reminders that adults harp on children when the end of October nears. The porch lights of that house are off, move to the next house. If someone I don’t know offers candy and they aren’t in their house, don’t take it. Never eat any candy before getting home so we can check the wrappers. Watch our for cars, unless they’re parked police cars, then get there as fast as you can, cause you just know they have the good stuff. The years when the parents followed behind, the years of being a giant baseball, an elephant, a hockey player, a member of the coast guard, were the years that Halloween was the most enjoyable. The irony of it all is that in those years you want nothing but your parents to let you go out by yourself, funny how we think in hindsight.
Even though I am at the office on this Halloween evening, the chill in the air, the smell of colored leaves, and the early thoughts of a giant Thanksgiving dinner with Christmas right around the corner, surface the feelings that are what this time of year is entirely about. Knowing that someday, with my own children, I will relive my years of being a giant baseball that needs to use the bathroom so bad that we have to ask some friendly neighbor to come inside, is enough to bring forth a familiar youthful smile. When my turn comes around, I will follow behind my children as they glance back in hope to see they are independent, but in reality just making sure they aren’t alone. Right now, the memories of my own single-digit years of trick-o-treating are enough fulfillments. I can still tell you which house gave the biggest, best, and most candy. I can still tell you which house had the scary teenager hiding in the bushes waiting to jump out at you. I can still tell you the best route to maximize your candy revenue. But I think I’ll just save those little tidbits of knowledge for my own kids. Happy Halloween!