Yesterday was Halloween.
I grew up in an era where Halloween was not really a big thing. We paid far more attention to Guy Fawkes night, just a week a later. In fact I don’t remember seeing anyone trick or treat until probably into my teens. I think the movie ET had a lot to do with popularising the idea in this country.
I have never really felt comfortable with the idea of kids knocking on doors and asking for sweets, or acceptable begging as it is – but with the state of the country, teaching kids how to beg might not be so un-needed.
My boys have of course been caught up with the whole idea of getting free sweeties. While at nursery, they had their first introduction to getting dressed up, and bobbing for apples, and the whole malarkey. As they became acquainted with more people, the idea of going out trick or treating became part of the equation, as kids knocked on our door.
We decided we may as well embrace the whole thing, and so the boys were given the option of going out. D was so excited, but M much less so. M made the decision he would rather stay at home with me, while D went out with his Dad. D was happy to share his bootee with his brother upon his return. M was quite amazing to watch, as he would rush to the door with me, and listen to the jokes before handing over sweeties. He was in his element. I think he enjoyed the power of being in charge of handing over the spoils of the evening. Being on his own turf, he had that confidence that he would not have if he was on the other side of the threshold at other houses. I still got M a costume, because he was still very much a part of the whole event, and he enjoyed dressing up – although, no face paint was allowed. It was a great system, that has worked for many years.
This year, about a week before the event, D asked M if he would be going out with them this year. After much flapping and stammering he said “maybe” – maybe is a word M uses when he thinks saying No will upset the other person. D is used to M not going, but I think its nice that he still asks him if he wants to go. The day before, M said he had decided he wanted to go out. I think we were all a little taken a back by this, but while we encouraged it, we weren’t totally convinced it would happen, after all, he still had 24 hours to change his mind!
D was going out as Superman, with the joke “What do you get if you cross Clark Kent with a tin of Heinz?” The answer is of course Souperman!!!!!! I will give you a moment to stop laughing!
M was going to be Batman, with the joke “How does Bruce Waynes Mum call him to the table?” Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Batman!!
Have yourself another minute……….
As they got changed, M decided he didn’t want to put on his costume, but instead had a glow in the dark skull t-shirt. He was going to go out. It was a big deal for him, so we let him do it his way.
I was kind of nervous for him, as this was a big deal. I knew he would be with his brother and Dad, but he was still facing his daemons, and going out in the dark, and knocking on the door of strangers – most are not really strangers, as most parents and kids are known to each other in our area as we bump into each other at the school, and various local events. There is also the rule that only house with Halloween stuff visible get their doors knocked on.
The first few visitors we had started about 5:30pm as older siblings took tiny ones out. Mine went out about 6. I had a steady flow of fabulously dressed kids turn up at the door. They were all extremely polite as they told me their jokes – I do think there had maybe been some discussion at school about the jokes, as their were 2 that I kept hearing. I did end up with quite a stage laugh.
About 10 minutes later, M returned. He had a nice few sweeties in his bag. He went straight to the computer where he sat with the headphones on for quite sometime. He then joined in with me answering the door. He seemed genuinely pleased to see many of his class mates. He seemed much more comfortable with this task.
D and hubby returned about an hour later. D was desperate for the loo, and extremely muddy – it wasn’t raining, but it had been so was very mucky under foot.
Both boys had a great evening in their own way. I was extremely proud of M who had faced his fears and made himself do something that was obviously difficult for him. He was very cuddly the rest of the evening – he sat snuggled up to me, and watched a movie, and he had the scared look on his face at bedtime, a look he usually get when something is worrying him. As he settled down, he told me that he was proud of himself for going out, I of course told him that he had been amazing by doing it. He added that next year he might go out for a little longer.
I hope everyone had a happy, safe, evening.