There’s something unsettling to me about opening the front door on Halloween to a pack of trick or treaters that tower a good 9 inches above my head. And of course, these giants are all expecting me to gleefully heap a pound or two of Snickers Bars and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups into their pillowcases. Past experience has told me that I’d better do it too, lest they “trick” me. With the younger kids I can be kind of stingy and just toss couple of pieces in their bag…they’ll never know the difference. The teenagers, however, will measure the type, quantity, and quality of what is being inserted in their bag. If it’s not up to their snacking criteria, there may be repercussions.
I recall a few years back when my husband and I spent Halloween evening at the home of some friends, Russ and Sherri. Each time the doorbell rang our buddy, Russ, would dutifully go to the front entry and throw a few “fun size” pieces of candy into the little kids’ bag. But as the night wore on the kids got older – and bigger – and surprisingly, this clearly irked Russ even more than it bothered me.
The last doorbell ring of the night brought three very large teenage boys and Russ, thinking he was being clever, chucked a few handfuls of Science Diet dog food into each of kid’s bags. Let’s just say it was a rather chilly drive home that night after my husband Ron and I walked out of Russ and Sherri’s house and were greeted in the driveway by our truck — now sporting two freshly shattered windows (probably accomplished by vandals wielding pillow cases filled with kibble).
Noah is probably pretty close to the ages of the Dog Food boys. I’m really hoping that the novelty of trick-or-treating has worn off and that he’ll be satisfied with the sensational goody bag I’ve prepared for him consisting of candy, potato chips, and other snacks from the fat and grease section of the food pyramid.
I think it’s tough for some kids when they finally realize they’ve crossed the line from little kidhood to teenagedome. I guess that’s why over the years I try to make sure that even though my kids have gotten older, holidays such as these are still sort of fun for them. Different, but fun.
I suppose for other kids, getting beyond the little kid years is exciting. But as a parent it makes me kind of sad and part of me would like to see Noah dress up in a darling little zombie costume and go out trick-or-treating one last time (despite the fact he’s the size of the average adult Neanderthal). Perhaps parent sentimentality is the reason that the Dog Food Boys were out trick or treating that fateful night…
A few suggestions for teenage Halloween mirth and frivolity (that may keep them out of trouble, too):
- A bonfire, complete with music, scary stories, and s’mores. Don’t break the bank. Ask the kids to bring a snack or soft drinks to share. And hello? They’re teenagers so keep an eye on them.
- Take a few kids to a movie. Watch the rating. If they plan to see an R-rated movie, they will need to be 17 to buy a movie ticket. See if you can talk them into a Disney tale, instead (and good luck with that).
- Load the kids into the car and bring them to a haunted house or hayride. Don’t get stuck with all of the driving. Share that responsibility with another parent, if possible.
- Force your kid to hand out candy.
Got some ideas you’d like to share?