All the local weather stations are predicting heavy rain and up to 50 MPH winds for Halloween. Specifically, during trick-or-treating hours.
So it started a few days ago, local towns and cities announcing that they were cancelling their trick-or-treating hours and moving them to Friday. It’s supposed to be nicer on Friday. In the end, all outdoor, neighborhood, and city trick-or-treating was moved to Friday. So today, Halloween, is here and kids aren’t excited about candy and costumes, they’ve still got another day to wait.
This re-scheduling has caused quite a public debate to ensue. People saying that when they were kids, they trick-or-treated in rain and snow, in freezing cold and sleet. It didn’t matter what Mother Nature was doing, Halloween is on the 31st of October and that’s when you trick or treat. We’re not going to change Christmas morning if there’s no snow. Let kids tough it out!
And then the other camp: Kids aren’t going to be able to enjoy walking the neighborhood for candy and it could be potentially dangerous. Moving it to Friday will keep everyone safe and ensure better weather.
These arguments are going on in the news, on talk radio, over Facebook and Twitter. People have strong opinions about trick or treating, guys.
As a teacher, the day after Halloween is one of my most dreaded days (another one is Valentine’s day, ugh). Keeping kids in their seats and learning, when they stayed up way too late, have pockets full of candy they’re sneaking into their mouths whenever I’m not looking, and are still riding the sugar high that started twelve hours ago is not something I’m upset about missing. A weekend for them to eat all their favorite candy and me not having to deal with it sounds pretty good.
But as a public school teacher, I also know that not all parents will make wise decisions if our city decided to plow through the weather concerns and trick-or-treat tonight. Some parents won’t pay attention to the weather and some parents won’t be home at all when it’s time to head out and a judgement call needs to be made. As a city, we have a responsibility to keep kids–all kids–safe. Especially when those that should be doing that aren’t stepping up. I feel that responsibility and calling, I get it.
But as a parent of small children, I see the other side too. My daughter has been counting down the days on the calendar since last week, talking constantly about this night. She knows that it’s Halloween and we should be trick or treating. We should be bundling up our kids and putting rain ponchos over their cute costumes and running from house to house getting as much candy as their little buckets will hold and then rushing home to strip off our wet clothes, covering the living room floor with candy while watching a Halloween movie, stuffing our faces with sugar (Mommy and Daddy included), and then going to bed full, excited, and completely exhausted.
That’s what Halloween is.
And, yes, we can do that on Friday and those events will all take place and they’ll be just as sweet (pun intended), but it won’t be Halloween, it will be November 1st.
We’ll have been safe and dry and maybe be able to hit a few more houses than we could during the rain.
Ultimately, I think the bigger issue is parenting. As parents, we make the decision daily and, sometimes, hourly on how we want our children to live. We influence them, tell them and show them what we value, and hope that our choices will make them into good, upstanding adults. So should we be able to change the world because something is going to be unpleasant or not ideal? What world am I creating for my children when, if something doesn’t work in their favor, I change the rules so they can have more fun, be more successful, or get more of something?
It’s Halloween, people. But it’s bigger than that too.