Today is Halloween. Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays as a kid. You get to dress up like your favorite book/movie/comic book character and eat a ton of candy. What's not to like? But as I got older, Halloween became just any other day. The fun might've lasted longer if I had been a partier in college, but at that point it was a sort of "been there, done that" situation. But I digress. As an adult, Halloween just isn't as fun. The magic is lost, along with your imagination and willingness to ingest pounds of sugar that may or may not be laced with drugs and razor blades.
But then you have kids. And a little bit of the magic comes back and you're once again excited about dressing up and going trick or treating because THEY are excited. I spent a good hour looking for the perfect Halloween costumes for the kids online. I bought $60 worth of candy to pass out. I bought little pumpkin buckets to hold their loot. Do they appreciate it? Hell no! But I had fun again.
I'm starting to think that Halloween excitement comes and goes in cycles throughout a person's life. As kids, we love it. As teens, it's lame and for babies. In our twenties and thirties we love it again as we experience it through our children. In our 40s and 50s we care less as our kids are older and we are too fucking tired to dress up or even buy candy ("you turned the porch light off, right?"). And then, if we're lucky, in our old age we love it again as we try to reconnect with our youth or experience the magic through our grandchildren. Or we just become crotchety old farts who hate everyone and yell at kids who walk on the grass.
Anyway, after about 3 weeks of waiting and asking every damn day "is it Halloween? Is it Halloween? What about tomorrow? The next day??" it's finally the day. Both kids were allowed to wear their costumes to school minus Obi-Wan's light saber, which is considered a weapon despite the fact that it's plastic and I let my baby play with it. So we packed up and headed off. Everything went smoothly at my son's school, although I was really disappointed with the lack of originality in the other kids' costumes (four Spidermen and a Spidergirl in a class of 12). Seriously parents, if your kids are boring, help them out.
Next we headed to my daughter's school. We pull up and she gets out of her seat to put on her costume (Princess Leia, can't buckle all that dress into a carseat) while I look around to make fun of the boring kids here. But I'm not shocked by the boring costumes, I'm shocked by the LACK of boring costumes.... or ANY costumes, for that matter. About 20 kids walked by and not a single one was dressed up. They were all ages- small preschoolers to the older 6th graders. Not a single Ironman, Transformer, pirate or Disney princess. It was... well, a little sad.
Where did the magic go? Do kids not care anymore? Was there a secret parent memo I didn't get about sending your kids to school in costumes? I am worried about the youth of today. They're growing up too fast. They're losing their imaginations. They don't want to play or have fun, they want to sit around and watch TV and play video games. I mean, granted, that's all I wanted to do when I was a kid, but I DIDN'T. I played outside and did sports and THEN I came inside and played video games. So now I'm sitting here wondering if we're even going to get trick or treaters. I have 40 lbs of candy sitting here waiting to be passed out, dammit. So this is my call to parents: get off your asses, throw a white sheet over your kid and tell them to go outside for once in their lives. It's Halloween. Act like it.