As we approach Halloween evening, the night of trick-or-treating, I am coming to a shameful realization...Cameron and Miles are not just my sons on Halloween, they're my patsies. My stool-pigeons, my decoy, my cover. Whatever you want to call it, I use my sons to get me some yummy candy. Up until this point I think it was subconscious. I really WANTED to drag Cameron out all night, freezing his tush off and pulling at the "feathers" I had sewn on him (2005), or the anchor tattoo Chase had drawn on his arm (2004). I really LOVED the idea of watching him go door-to-door and thrust his little open bag up into the air, looking expectant. It was CUTE to hear him learn to say "trick-or-treat", which sounded more like TickTeat. But as we count down the days the thought of all of those glorious mounds of candy piled on my living room floor after a dutiful night trudging down the streets makes me giddy. I LOVE candy. Perhaps it has something to do with my up-bringing or maybe it's encoded in my DNA; I don't know. All I know is that when I see people stringing up orange lights on their trees or sticking skeletons in their front windows I positively drool at the thought of the forthcoming bounty.
So am I ashamed, you ask? No. I have also recently come to realize that I'm not the only parent who feels this way. The more I think about it, the more I realize MY parents were probably known to dip their hands into our confectionary coffers. Think about it. Halloween night usually went like this: You run out of the house with some sort of paint on your face and a great thrift-store dress (or fatigues) that your mom found. In your right hand is a flash-light and in your left hand is a pillow case. No plastic pumpkin for you, no, you plan on striking it rich tonight. For the next FOUR HOURS you cover (and re-cover in many instances) the streets located within a 5 miles radius of your house before returning home exhausted. You and your siblings or friends proceed to dump out your goodies and start categorizing the candy. Then you start trading. But before long mom comes in and tells you that you can have one more piece and then it's time to hand it over and go to bed. No, you're not allowed to take your candy into your room because then you'll just spend all night eating it and getting cavities. So, as a trusting young child you hand over the candy and head for bed. Now here's what you didn't know...it's at this point in the evening that mom feels VERY rewarded for having borne children. She and dad rifle through the bulging bags like homeless people at the dumpster behind Olive Garden. They laugh, they giggle, they pour the candy on the floor and lay down to make candy angels in it...Yeah, I can see your wheels turning. You know I'm right.