Maybe it was because it was on Sunday, or because it seemed to sneak up so fast this year, but Halloween was different. After such a brilliant October full of sun and 70 to 80 degree days, I think it took everyone by surprise. But I think there was something else at play in my house.
The kids are at that awkward in between stage.
The stage where cute little costumes and Charlie Brown cartoons don’t rule the day. The stage where they want to hang with their friends, but aren’t quite sure what to do when you no longer trick or treat. The stage where staying up all night gorging on candy and watching scary movies would be fun….but it’s Sunday night.
When the kids are very young, it doesn’t matter that it’s Sunday night. I watched as the gobs of little kids in the neighborhood gathered in their cute costumes to get pictures taken and head out trick or treating at 5:30 pm. It was still light out, but I expected an early rush, because parents wanted those kids in bed by 8:00 pm.
I felt a twinge for my kids who are entering that phase where the magical glow starts to change. I read somewhere once that magical thinking starts to recede at around 8 years old, and that a more mature part of your brain takes over by the time you are a teenager. That’s biology of course, and it’s usually a great thing to see the kids develop better reasoning skills, more logic, and deeper thinking, but once in a while, it’s kind of sad.
It’s like the truth about Santa, the tooth fairy, and the characters at Disney World. Even though we still recognize all of those things in our house (I admitted the truth about Santa once, but won’t again!), it’s not the same as when they were little.
These days they’re making their own fun. The boys dressed in ugly, scary costumes that they cobbled together from around the house, set up a haunted house, and terrorized whoever dared to come in. It was over by about 8:30 pm, though. Monday morning comes pretty early in this neighborhood, with the middle school kids on the bus before 7:00 am.
Next year, Halloween will be on Monday, which probably won’t be a barn burner either. By the time Halloween is on a Friday night again, two of my kids will be in college. Halloween in college is one fun freakin’ night.
I don’t want to hear a word about it.