Like the rest of the world, (ok, so maybe not the entire world), my family and I celebrated Halloween this past weekend with the traditional costume and trick-or-treating ritual.
It is interesting to see how much a simple ritual can teach you when you aren’t looking. For example, this was our daughter’s first trick-or-treating experiment. I pulled out the first Halloween costume I ever made, a skunk costume originally worn by child #1. She looked absolutely adorable!
Then there was the trick-or-treating training session, led by my mother. It went a little like this…knock on table, teach her to say “Trick-or-treat”, put a candy corn in her pumpkin and then encourage her to say “Thank you”. It didn’t take long, only a few rounds, for her to get the idea. It is essentially Pavlov’s dog, really. I could see her wheels turning “Hey…I say words, I get candy and they clap for me…Let’s do that again.” Excellent…the littlest one was ready to go.
Work hard and you will be rewarded.
Next came the middle child. He has done this a few times before so he knows all of the basics and again, like Pavlov’s dog, knows that there will be candy at the end of the tunnel. That is the ultimate goal after all. His challenge is deciding which costume to wear. Will he be an army guy , a Star Wars Clone, astronaut or something all together different. He wanted to choose them all but he ultimately had to make a decision and live with it.
There will always be many choices in life but you just have to go with what you feel is the best choice and then live with the consequences of your actions.
Then there was my oldest. He wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to be but it had to be scary. He realizes that there is candy involved which is cool but there is also the joy of celebrating with your friends and chasing the cool neighbor of a friend who likes to hang out in the bushes with a chainsaw (sans blade, of course) in order to scare the pants off of the local trick-or-treaters and their unsuspecting parents. The candy has really become a by-product of the social aspect of the holiday for him.
The companionship of good friends and a loving family will always outweigh the material “sweet things” in life.
Lastly, would be my husband and I. All we really wanted to do was curl up, watch a movie and get some sleep but we love our kids and have sweet memories of emptying bags of loot onto the living room floor and stuffing our faces full of as much candy as our parents would allow. We had to afford our wonderful children the same opportunity, right? So we put on our costumes (well, at least I did – my husband went as himself) and headed out to the party. Don’t get me wrong, there were good friends, food and fun but I have to say that I would not be getting into the holiday spirit as much as I do if it weren’t for my children.
Don’t sit back and let life pass you by, get out there and enjoy it! If your actions can help to improve the lives of others along the way, then all the better.
Who knew that there were so many hidden lessons to be learned on Halloween. What did you learn this year?