Halloween Success

It’d been a couple of years since I have been home for Halloween.

So, I was thrilled when the kids informed me that I was taking them trick-or-treating and Kristen was going to stay home and hand out candy.

They quickly covered several blocks of our neighborhood. (It was fun to see the same neighbors again, without the hovering helicopters and SWAT teams of the night before. What a difference 24 hours makes!)

One thing I adore about our neighborhood is how friendly everyone is. The neighborhood is a fun mix of middle-class families, immigrants/refugees, retired folks, and college students. That was on full display all night.

Three favorite moments:

1. There is one neighbor who goes all out. They set up their yard like a haunted house, complete with zombies and chainsaw masacres. Both of our kids fought the fear, smiled realizing it was all fake and for fun, and made it through. Paul kept telling himself, “Don’t chicken out” as he made his way to the porch. (They gave out full-sized candy bars, pretty cool)

2. About an hour into their adventure both of them got very tired. As we were still several blocks from home they both just looked at me and said, “Can we walk straight home?” Then, as we were walking home, both Megan and Paul decided they needed to make one more stop. They wanted to go next door to visit our 80+ year old neighbors. They love that couple and have a special bond with them that is really cool. I loved that they wanted to see them and knew that “Mr. Stan” would want to see them in their costumes.

3. I loved seeing and handing out candy to first-timers. Our community welcomes refugees from all over the world. The latest group hails from several African nations… and it was fun to see them try to figure out Halloween. The costumes were a little off and the concept of a cute plastic pumpkin as a candy storage device was lost along the way. But these kids got it, and the smiles on their faces were priceless.

I love living in a country where one day we can have a police standoff and the next it is safe enough for children to wander around in the dark asking random houses for candy.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

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