I read a number of blog posts this week that mentioned the ‘Switch Witch’ or the ‘Candy Fairy’, both of whom take the candy kids have trick or treated for and exchange it for something the parents find more wholesome – books or craft supplies or something along those lines. I read other posts lamenting the existence of Halloween altogether. Mostly what I read boiled down to parents worrying.
People seemed to think I should worry a lot when my kids were little.
“Aren’t you worried they won’t learn to get up early when they need to if you let them sleep in whenever they want?”
“Aren’t you worried they’ll never learn to share if you don’t make them?”
“Don’t you worry they’ll never do anything else if you let them watch TV whenever they want?”
“Aren’t you worried they won’t learn to read if you don’t teach them phonics?”
“Don’t you worry about their teeth falling out and vitamin deficiencies and sugar highs and them never eating healthy food and all the other apparently deadly consequences of eating candy if you let them eat it any old time?”
Nope, nope, nope, nope, and nope. Why? I believed the best of my kids. I believed they were reasonable and thoughtful and intelligent and responsible and curious and trust-worthy. And you know what? They were. And yours are too.
As for Halloween, I think a day where a 15 year old girl who loves costuming can walk into CVS as Ariel without anyone raising an eyebrow is a good day. I think filling the seemingly lonely older man down the road with happiness with a simple, “Trick or treat!” is worthwhile. I think making space in our lives for imagination is important. I think staving off the darkness with fire is an instinct older than memory. I think fun is fun. And I think candy is delicious.
(Picture of Dagny by Andrew; picture of Rowan by Dagny.)