The One Rule for Halloween
Hey everyone, Adam here. Autumn is here (although for most of the country it feels like winter), and another Halloween has passed. I don't know about you, but I have one hard and fast rule when it comes to Halloween - you must absolutely, no matter what, separate the fruity candy from the chocolate candy immediately after trick-or treating.
I'm not joking.
Every year, as soon as we're done taking the kids trick-or-treating, we dump out all their candy, take out anything "suspicious" (A Blow Pop with a loose wrapper? It didn't unwrap itself), and separate the chocolate candy from the fruity candy. There's nothing that will ruin a perfectly good mini-Hershey bar more than it nestling up against a fruit-flavored Tootsie Roll and absorbing that vague fruit essence. I'm a huge chocolate fan, but that will ruin it for me every time.
Candy sorting peculiarities aside, I wanted to write a post about Halloween this year because it was a little emotional for me - as odd as that may sound - for two reasons. The first is that Halloween - like birthdays, Christmases, or anything that happens once a year - easily marks the passage of time. With our children, we know that we only get so many of anything with them, and this was one less Halloween that I will get to take my children trick-or-treating. This hit me mostly because my son is now 10, and I know that I can count the number of times I will go trick-or-treating with him on less than one hand's worth of fingers. To be a parent is to be thankful for the memories you have made with your children, while at the same time being aware that your opportunities to make more memories grow fewer with each Halloween, each Christmas, each day that passes.
The second reason is that while my two children love trick-or-treating, they are just as excited about answering the door and handing out candy to other children. I have always been so proud of their spirit of generosity, but this year my daughter took it a step further and asked to sit out in the driveway and hand out candy as people walked by. They always continue to amaze me, and I am so thankful that my children are as happy to give as they are to receive.
All that said, trick-or-treating is such an innocent thing - meeting your neighbors, trusting strangers, enjoying candy, dressing up in costumes - and I want that innocence to last with my children as long as it possibly can. That innocence, like chocolate candy mixed in with fruity candy, will be tainted and absorb the flavor of outside influences if we as parents do not do everything we can to proactively separate our children from them. As my children grow older (especially my son, given the phase of life he is in) and outside influences grow in number and in volume, I am thankful that this innocence still prevails, and I am resolved to do everything I can to keep it that way.
(Seriously, though, put a Hershey bar and a Starburst in a zip-loc bag for a week and tell me you don't notice a difference in the flavor of the chocolate...)