Well, guys, it’s that time of year again. We’ve made it through another cycle of winter, spring, and a long, hot summer. The air is getting a chill, and so are many of us parents as we think about what’s in store for us this busy holiday season. So…Halloween. This is our first installment of madness. We all celebrate or do not celebrate Halloween differently, and for some reason, this is my children’s most cherished and beloved holiday. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I believe their affection is due mainly to the uninhibited consumption of candy. What’s great about watching kids at Halloween is their childlike excitement that possesses much anticipation yet little expectation, because this is what children do so well and we adults simply don’t.

Last year, I failed miserably getting ready for Halloween. I didn’t carve pumpkins with my kids. I didn’t even put up fake cobwebs. We were hurried and my kids were disappointed to the point of tears that I didn’t help them with costumes. It wasn’t my lack of production that hurt the kids, but rather my lack of participation. When I lay down my worries or complaints of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, I am able for a few moments to be a child again, excited and full of anticipation as I dress and paint them (and sometimes myself), plotting our route of looting.

Whatever it is that you find yourself doing or not doing for Halloween, let’s remember there are plenty of things we must do, but there are also plenty of things we must not do in order to simply engage and be present for one another. Let’s make bigger margins this season for less stuff and fewer to do lists. I know I, for one, will not be disappointing my kids this year the same way I did last year, because if nothing else, I will be trucking along behind them stealing Snicker Bars and AlmondJoy wherever I can (yes, there are still people that eat those, kids).

Anna Lewis / October 17, 2019