It comes up every year at this time: the accusations, the recriminations, the denials. My younger son and I will start reminiscing about Halloweens past, and my husband will invariably start pouting about the year we ditched him. Said son and I always turn the tables and blame dad for being left behind, but it’s time to come clean.
We ditched him.
On Halloween younger son and his twin pals would take turns trick-or-treating in our oh-so-hilly neighborhood or their flat but spread out one.
The incident in question happened a year the boys headed out armed with pillowcases in our neighborhood, aptly named North HILLS. Husband and I followed at a discreet distance, saving our lungs for the long hauls up and down the streets.
The ‘gold at the end of the rainbow’ was a huge Victorian manse tucked away at the very bottom of the biggest hill. It was the ultimate Halloween destination, lit up with strings of lights, illuminated bats, cats, and assorted monsters. The owners were also legendary for handing out GIANT Hershey bars, the kind you buy only if you’re making S’mores for Bigfoot and his crowd.
The boys made quick work of the streets surrounding our house then were ready to head down the hills to the mother lode. It should be noted, our sprawling university town had set hours for trick or treating…after that the little munchkins (and Buzz Light Years and princesses and Spider Men) had to be off the streets. The college students would be heading out a few hours later for their version of trick or treating, but that’s another scary tale.
At a house just before the big descent to the big candy bars, we got held up. Dad started talking motorcycles with the homeowner and talking and talking and… Three eager boys and antsy mom me stood at the end of the long driveway waiting and waiting and… bolted.
Dad was on his own… curfew was a comin’.
Over hill and dale (and fence) we tromped until we reached our destination. It was a long trudge back up the hills to reach home. The big candy bars were forgotten as the boys participated in the annual ritual of candy swapping and scattering.
Yep, we ditched him. And if we had to do it over again, we’d do the same thing. No time for idle chatter when the treat is giant candy bars and the trick is growing up.