This year I didn’t have to convince the kids to trick-or-treat. The memory of being given lots of candy, and the subsequent gorging, was apparently still strong for them. I asked them weeks ago what they’d like to be for Halloween and was delighted when, although some waffling ensued, the only two choices that seemed to occur to them were “spider” and “pumpkin.” (Or, as Ryan calls it, “pumpkin man.”) These both seemed pretty easy to make.
When I was growing up costumes were homemade, with occasionally a store-bought piece thrown in to round something out; Mom did some awesome costumes for me. But in the end I wimped out and did a minimal amount of sewing. Nathan settled on being a spider, so I found a black jacket, cut and stuffed some long tubes from the copious amounts of black material I seem to have around, and pinned them onto the jacket to make spider arms. Ryan had just finalized his decision to be a pumpkin when I saw an inexpensive adult-size jack o’ lantern T-shirt in the store. A few stitches to manage the sleeves and gather the bottom, and he was a pumpkin man.
We went through the obligatory “Can we go yet?” routine after dinner, while the sky darkened by agonizingly slow degrees, but finally we were out on the street. And there were two things about the trick-or-treating that amused me. The first was that, at the same house as last year, a head-in-a-crystal ball decoration turned on and chased Nathan off the porch. Even when Ryan stood up at the door chatting with the woman and poking at the ball, Nathan could not be induced to go get a piece of candy from her. The second was that by the time we finished the single, measly, two-block street that we live on, where a third of the houses were dark, the kids were done. They wanted to come home and count their candy. When I was a kid I remember begging to be allowed to do just a few more houses, because if there was one thing that embodied the spirit of Halloween for me, it was that there was no such thing as too much candy. But I accepted their decision, and even when Dave pointed out to them that there were two more streets they could do if they chose, they were uninterested. They wanted to eat a Snickers right now.