While cycling home from work this evening, I couldn’t help but smile at the young children out with their parents - variously dressed as Witches, Faeries, Batmen, Draculas, Wolverines, Princesses, Spidermen, Hulks, Buzz Lightyears, and every other character that could have been made from a dressing up box.
I will admit to being ever so slightly annoyed by a typical “I’m more important than everybody else” Mum, who slowly walked into the rush hour traffic with her children - expecting everybody to make way for her. It would have been fine - except her entire family were dressed head-to-toe in black. If not for her face and hair showing, they would have been run-over. Why do people not think?
I arrived home a few minutes before six, and just had time to eat leftovers from the children’s dinner while standing in the kitchen before heading back out to escort them and their friends around the nearby houses.
I’ve been wondering if we would be taking part in the traditional trudge around the houses this year. Our youngest is now twelve years old, and our middle girl thirteen. I think this may have been her final year - she met several of her school friends in doorways along the route - none of them were dressed up.
As we wandered along each nearby road, our band grew over the course of half an hour from myself, a wonderful friend, and a gaggle of excitable children, to a small army. We marched on each house with pumpkins, leaving with much of their candy. Some of the children ate as they walked - no doubt levitating on sugar vaper by the time we headed back towards home.
While wandering along behind the children, catching up with parents I haven’t seen for some time, we talked about the difference between Halloween in the US, and the UK. A family of Americans on the green had gone all-out, with projections, mannequins, and wildly impressive costumes. The English adults had only dressed up if they had small children with them - the rest of us were wrapped up warm in the clothes we had come home from work in, trying desperately to keep a head count on the children in our charge.
After reaching home, showing off their haul of candy, and sitting down to watch the final of the “Great British Bake-Off”, I commented that it wasn’t even half past seven, and yet the knocks on the door had almost ground to a halt.
“It’s a school night”.
I think we perhaps have one more Halloween of dressing up to look forward to with our children. One last hurrah. It will join the growing list of “things we used to do” that we reminisce about fondly. “Remember the year she dressed as the zombie rabbit?”, “Oh yes! And that year I was Darth Vader!”, “Oh my god - and that time Dad was Dumbledore, and nobody recognised him!”. I think we’re going to miss it.