Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween, past and present.

Halloween. It's a day filled with very mixed emotions for me. I love watching the little ones and their costumes. I love the sound of their little voices and the wide-eyed expressions on their painted faces. But I despise the older teenagers with their ironic non-costumes holding out their pillow cases for free candy. Although I do for the most part enjoy the fun of it all, there's always that neighbor that seems just a wee bit too fond of the festivities. You know the one...nary a candle in sight at Christmas, but on Halloween, his house looks like the set of Psycho.

When my kids were young, Pam insisted on no scary costumes, which often meant she ended up making them herself, with amazing results:

Just look at the year of the Dalmations! Whenever I see that picture I want so badly to travel back in time to relive that moment. It was magical. But then I remember another Halloween that featured my single biggest failure as a parent, an ill-conceived threat made to a tantrum-throwing child to not let her go Trick or Treating if she didn't get ahold of herself...which I foolishly and stubbornly enforced to the very much not make believe horror of my wife! Needless to say, that's a night I'd like to have back!

Twenty years ago there was a faction of friends in our church who were very much in the anti-Halloween camp. It was their view that the holiday conflicted with Christian teaching, and was dangerous because of its glorification of demonic themes and such. I always thought they were nuts. Watching my adorable children walking around the neighborhood dressed like Pooh Bear and Tigger was about the most wonderful thing ever. Besides, my kids thought that the alternative fall festival at church had lame candy....or maybe it was me who thought that. It was a long time ago and I'm easily confused.

Tonight, Pam and I will sit on our front porch and hand out the goodies, hoping that Lucy doesn't lose what is left of her mind at the spectacle of it all. I will compliment the children on their costumes, and try my sarcastic best to shame the free-loading and humorless big kids. Then, we will have our first fire pit of the year, and roast some hotdogs for our Liberty nursing students. 

It's going to be a fun night!