Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not Like It Used To Be

The night was just perfect for trick or treat. No rain. Warm evening. No jackets covering up costumes. Children eager to knock on doors they knock on every year.

I love walking along with the girls. They are getting older. These visits will dwindle and disappear.

"Let's go to that house. They have neat decorations!" a child yells.

"Those people don't live there anymore," yells another.

Yes, people have moved out and new neighbors moved in. The street where my grandchildren grew up is dark. The neighborhood has changed. Children grow older so parents no longer turn on the front light. Some older children go to parties instead of trick or treating. Others, like us, are candy-gathering.

"I don't mind the teenagers," said a friend when discussing the fact that more and more teenagers are going out with grocery bags in hand. "I just think they need to be in costume."

Another parent and I disagree. I like to see the older children given alternatives, such as door to door for UNICEF, handing out candy or supervising younger siblings on this yearly house to house trek.

"I took five hand fulls," yells a little boy. Instead of answering the door, these people decided to place the candy bowl outside for a little 'help yourself'. We encouraged the girls to take only one piece saving the rest for all the other children yet to visit the house. Where are the parents?! Where is the supervision? Where is the involvement?

"My husband got down on his knees at the door and got candy," said another woman of her husband who had dressed in costume when accompanying his kids from house to house.

Dumbstruck. Yes, I was dumbstruck. First teens and now husbands!

"Let's go to Hannah's house!"

"There's McKenna's house!"

"Can we go around our street now?"

"There's Mrs. CB's house." Mrs. CB is the school principal. Every years she hands out books.

Distraught, Sydney who has been doing this for at least 10 years walks back from the house. "She gave us candy this year."

A dentist has always handed out new toothbrushes to each child. This year it was candy.

"Wow," I said to Sydney on the way back to the house. "You didn't get a book or a toothbrush."

She puts her arm around me as we walk home.

"Trick or treating is just not like it used to be," she said.

True, my sweet granddaughter. So true.

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