I hurried home from a meeting in Cleveland so I could be there in time for the young trick or treaters who come to my door. My house is one of the few on my block where porch lights are on for Halloween. Most of the younger families live a few blocks away, so I try really hard to be welcoming for those children and parents who venture down our way.
I dashed into the house as the sun was setting and a group of witches and superheroes were heading my way. There was no time to find the plastic, glowing jack-o-lantern in the basement, only time enough to grab the bag of candy bars I’d hidden from myself, rip it open and spill the bounty into a basket.
The doorbell rang.
A little martian looked up at me, terrified. No doubt he’d been told to not speak to strangers, yet his mother was urging him to say “Trick or treat” to this total foreigner. When he finally got the words out, I rewarded him with a Snickers bar.
Most came in groups: angels, princesses, Army men, and vampires. Parents either waited on the sidewalk, coaching, or made the walk up my front steps to guide and support the efforts. No one left without saying thank you–except one 4-year-old who gave me a hardy, “Be good!” And I’m doing my best to honor that.
When the 6-year-old “bloody bride” arrived at the door with her younger brother, Batman, I told her she looked creepy. “At least you have Batman with you to look after you,” I said. She replied, “He’s my fiancee, and who do you think did this?”
I consoled myself with the leftover chocolate.