I remember Taylor’s first Halloween. I bought a hooded sweatshirt and dyed it orange. I spent hours hot gluing brown yarn all around the hood. I carefully painted her little toddler face with whiskers and a nose and she was the most adorable lion you have EVER seen. And we took her to the neighbors houses in our little cul-de-sac and we visited the grandparents and it was awesome.
Each year after that, for what will be the 19th year this year, I will have observed this completely absurd holiday.
When my kids were little, I would get mightily annoyed by the “big kids” running around. Half assed costumes of regular clothes and a mask coming to the door with their barely passable “trick or treat”. Some of them bigger than I am! I’d think to myself “where are their parents? Who lets these grown ass kids trick or treat?” I’d give them candy but I wasn’t all that happy about it.
Then one year when my daughter was 12 she and some girlfriends decided to all go trick or treating together. They went to goodwill and bought prom dresses and dressed up so cute as princesses and off they went. I’ll never forget when I ran across my daughter while I was out with my boys in our neighborhood and she looked so sad. I asked her what was wrong… a woman had yelled at her. My sweet, heart-of-gold daughter got yelled at by a woman, on what would be her last halloween because she was “too old to be out trick or treating”. She was 12. She LOOKED older, but she wasn’t. To this day I want to track down that woman and punch her in her mouth. My daughters last halloween, that she was SO excited for, her first one as one of the big kids with her friends was ruined because someone decided to judge my daughter instead of just throwing a .20 piece of candy in her bucket without judgment.
The last few years the boys get together with their BFF’s (who are brothers as well) and we go to their neighborhood and the older boys throw on masks and the littles put on the full costumes and they all go out for awhile. They are now those kids I used to get so annoyed with. When I was talking with my 13 year old a few days ago, and I casually asked if we were doing halloween this year his face lit up just as much as it did when he was 5 and said “yeah! I can’t wait to go out with Kyle!” and I’m going to let him. And I’m going to hope that despite the fact that he’s now bigger than I am, he has a great time and no one is mean to him.
So when you are out with your cute toddlers in their little adorable costumes this year, and those annoying big kids go running by in their half assed costumes, just remember . . . they used to be little boys and little girls. And they are dealing with more than you can possibly imagine. But a few times a year they get to act like they are still little kids. So let them. Maybe just for one more year.