“What if I say trick?”
The woman looked at my children as though she had said something particularly clever.
Solomon looked back at her. Samson was silent.
I laughed politely. As 10,000,000,000 parents have done before.
The boys each grabbed a piece of candy.
“Take a few more,” the woman said.
Most of the people in our neighborhood are older. So there were only a few children out walking the streets. Trick-or-treating. The boys took about 4 pieces of candy at each of the houses we stopped at. Many old folks seemed grateful to see us.
“I’m worried this tradition will die out,” one person told us as she threw candy at our children. I understood her worry. Especially in our aging community. We saw two other families making the rounds. That was it.
Solomon dressed like an orange cat. Samson dressed like an orange cat.
“Are you two twins?” a woman asked the boys.
The boys shrugged. I shook my head no behind them. Though the costumes were similar. The same, in fact.
“Everybody is so kind,” Solomon said.
“Yeah!” Samson agreed.
Everybody was so kind. It was nice to walk around the neighborhood. Watch the sunset. Stretch our legs. Smile at some neighbors. Get candy. Happy Halloween, I guess.
It’s so rare to have an excuse to interact with neighbors. People are usually inside. Staring at screens. That’s what I’m usually doing, anyway.
Halloween might be spooky. But it’s also an excuse to walk through the neighborhood at dusk. Ring doorbells. Greet strangers. I wonder what this neighborhood was like 50 years ago. 1970. Did people spend more time in their yards? More time talking with each other? Being outside. I have to imagine they did.
Most of the people who live near us are getting older. They’ve raised families in their houses. And they’ve stayed here after the kids have left. It’s a beautiful neighborhood. Quiet. The low mountains in the distance. Surrounded by cornfields. Very peaceful. I can see why they haven’t left.
I do wonder if neighborhoods were more social places in the 70’s. Before the rise of the internet. Phones. Did people spend more time getting to know each other? Hanging out with each other? Playing in the backyard. We do a little of that. Not a lot. I do remember neighborhoods being more active when I was a kid. In the 80’s. But that was a long time ago. Now? Well, now all I can think to say is that it was nice to make the rounds on Halloween a few weeks ago.
We spent about an hour walking around the neighborhoods. They boys were very excited about their cat costumes. And their candy. I’m so glad we were able to get out this year. Covid-19 kept us inside last year. That jerk.
It was a clear night. Crisp weather. A beautiful Fall evening and I got to spent it walking around our quiet neighborhood with my family. That’s a good thing, baby. Regardless of your opinion on Halloween.
Is my neighbor right? Is the tradition dying out? It’s 2021. Everything is in flux. But, to be fair, everything is always in flux. And we’re better off noticing when something nice happens. And it was nice to be with my family on Halloween. So I’ll notice that.