Seems like just last week I started seeing Halloween candy in the stores, and already it’s November. Happens to me every year; I plan to be ready for Halloween well in advance, and then—surprise!—it’s already past.
The kids, of course, like Halloween even more than I do. At about ten in the morning my youngest asked when we could go trick-or-treating.
“Traditionally people go trick-or-treating at dusk, when it starts to get dark and scary.”
“That’s when the sun is starting to go down but there’s still some light.”
“What time does that happen?”
“I don’t know.”
He was good; he didn’t nag me or continue asking when we were going to be going out. But he literally paced the floor. He wandered through the house. He looked out the window, checking the light. He wandered back through the house. Checked the window again. After a bit I had pity on the poor kid and looked up twilight times online for him.
“Okay, kid, according to this almanac the sun will start setting at 5:47. How about we start at six?”
“How about 5:47?”
We were the first trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood. Little dude took charge and led the expedition. “Okay, let’s go to that house next. Now let’s go up this street. Don’t cut across their yard.” (We’ve tried to instill that one in them since they were small; I don’t much care if kids wear paths through my yard, but I realize other people do.)
My older son got tired of it well before the youngest. So by the end the younger sprog’s directives were interspersed with his plaintive, “How many more houses are we going to do? Are we very far from home? I guess we have a long way back.”
Still, they both remained cheerful and cooperative, and didn’t argue when I made them eat some dinner before digging into the candy, or when I insisted the candy stay in the kitchen rather than being squirreled away in their rooms. (Dig up fuzzy grey Tootsie Rolls from under the bed just once and you’ll understand this rule.)
Still, it was over too quickly for me. I know I’m always telling myself that next year I’ll be organized ahead of time and have a party or something, but next I really will.