Something strange happened this Halloween.
Something I’ve never experienced before.
Before I tell you what it was, can I talk about how much the world has changed since we were kids?
I don’t know about you, but as a child, my Halloween went a little something like this…
- Beg Mom and Dad to get me the costume I want for two weeks prior to the holiday.
- Color, draw, and papier-mâché Halloween themed things each day in school for a week while sneaking pieces of candy out of the teacher’s bowl when she’s not looking.
- Finally get the costume I want and daydream of exactly how fantastic it’s going to look on me.
- Watch every Halloween movie ever made. Twice. Even the ones I’m not allowed to watch…when Mom and Dad aren’t home. (My oldest sibling is 11 years my senior #built-inbabysitter)
- Spend Hallow’s Eve obsessively checking /organizing every accessory for my costume, only pausing to manually rewind my VHS of Hocus Pocus as it played on repeat in the background. (Side note: I remember one of my first times watching this movie, I was at home in the living room eating popcorn. When the scene came up that mentioned the word, virgin, I hit pause to go ask my dad what it meant. His reply: ‘Er…go ask your mother…’ I knew, then, it was something I could do without knowing, so I went back to the movie, deciding to overlook any future mention of the word. LOL)
- Wake up early on Halloween to get myself together. I’m going to win best costume in my grade this year.
- Walk into class with confidence…until I see my friends all looking better than me.
- Go home without the first prize, but shrug it off—I’m going to get a crap ton of candy tonight. (Hmm…there’s some interesting psychology.)
- Bug my big brother to GET YOUR BUTT TOGETHER! WE GOTTA LEAVE SOON! until he turns Faxanadu and his Nintendo off.
- FINALLY, rain or shine or snow or sleet, set off with my brother and a big ole bag in tow.
Three hours and five hundred houses later, we’d slowly make our way home, our giant bags of loot weighing us down. It was chaos in our neighborhoods. Kids running around, competing with the others in their group to see who could scare more people. Toward the end of the night, there would be groups of children and teenagers, sitting on the sidewalk, bartering their goods with one another. There were WAY more kids out than adults. It was like a giant, barely chaperoned party. With candy.
Times have changed, my friends. For one, it’s early morning on Halloween and I’m going to tell you about my kids’ trick-or-treating experience this year. That’s right. We’ve already gone. Why? Because the forecast is rain tonight, and most of our state decided to change trick-or-treating to last night.
They changed Halloween, y’all.
So anyway, my fiance, my boys, and I went out last night, ready to fill their pillowcases to the brim. We went to a nice neighborhood nearby, parked, and began our journey. As expected, there were tons of people out. But half of them were adults. Not that I blame them. Hell, we had a fifty-fifty ratio ourselves.
Perhaps it was the fact that we were trick-or-treating on October 30th that had me reminiscent, I’m not sure. But I spent most of the night observing how different my boys’ experience of Halloween is than mine was as a kid.
One of my boys was a character skin from FORTNITE. And his costume was more widely recognized and complimented than all the ghosts, Spidermen, and Scream masks out there. All the kids knew what he was—unlike their parents who mostly seemed confused.
Only a third of the houses in the neighborhood were open for business. A third. Which makes sense. Who’s going to pass out candy if the adults are accompanying their kids?
My other boy decided he was done forty minutes into it, and stopped going up to houses. Seriously?!
They only managed to fill less than a quarter of their sacks by the time we left. My eleven-year-old self would have scoffed at that. But my boys were grateful for what they got. So, not all change is bad.
Perhaps tonight, while it’s pouring down outside, and we’re in the house with nothing to do, I’ll put Hocus Pocus on and eat some popcorn with my boys.
Then…walk out of the room when virgin is mentioned.
I hope all of you who live in places that have a clear evening forecast—or sell umbrellas—have an amazing Halloween. Also, you should probably google Fortnite skins so you can be the cool parent who recognizes their kids’ friends.
And as a treat for you, here’s a chilling, full-length novel riddled with twists, turns, and suspense on sale for less than a buck! Click here to get Where the Shadow Lies, the mystery nobody can figure out, for only 99 cents!
Leave a comment about your favorite Halloween memory or costume and I’ll choose a couple winners for a free ebook copy of WTSL.