Friday, October 2, 2009

Halloween - The Good and the Bad

When I was little I would have told you that I love Halloween.  I loved dressing up and going trick or treating.  I loved the getting all that candy.  I was a goblin, Billy Idol (don't hate me), a cat, Peter Frampton (it was the time of year), a tampon, a witch (well I finally got to dress up like one), and whatever else was so popular that I had to do it.  I remember getting all excited beforehand.  And driving my mother nuts.  Is it Halloween yet?  Mommy, what about tonight?  Do we go trick or treating?  Just like my kids do to me today.

I even remember going into houses that were set up like haunted houses.  Yes it was safer back then.  There's always the guy up the street that decorates his yard like a graveyard.  Or someone is jumping out of the bushes to scare the kids.  All of this is done in good faith.

I love how excited Faith and Jason are about Halloween.  Jason is already set up with his skeleton outfit.  Faith has her Phat Cat outfit.  They are both so incredibly adorable in them.  I can't wait to take pictures of them.  We are planning on trying to carve jack-o-lanterns this year as well.  That makes me nervous.  I'm not crafty at all.  It might look like the grim reaper when I am done.  Wait is it suppose to look like that?

I love ghost stories.  I can even handle a few horror movies during the season with my husband.  Not with the kids.  They are too young.  We will do the cartoon ones with them.  I can't wait to see Linus waiting on The Great Pumpkin.  I can remember watching that cartoons with all of my siblings.  Such great memories.

And I thought it was incredibly cute (and stupid) that my husband taught Jason at 3 years old to say.  "Trick or Treat, Smell my feet, give me something good to eat."  It was cute because Jason was saying it.  It was stupid because my husband truly did not think that Jason would actually say it to someone else.  I walked Faith last year.  Ken told me that he told Jason like 15 different times not to say it.  He said it at every house they went to.  Hmmm is that egg on Ken's face I wonder?  I am always telling him not to teach them these things.  (giggles)

Now having said that obviously I like Halloween.


As a parent, I worry for the following reasons:
  1. It was a lot safer back when I was smaller.  Or we just didn't know it wasn't.  I mean I even walked into stranger's house.  Did my parents realize the danger that put me in back then?
  2. I worry about my kids eating their treats before they get home.  What if someone put something in them?  We are being warned every year to check the candy for needles and razor blades, drugs, arsenic or strychnine.  Don't eat it if there is a hole in the wrapping.  So I take juice and treats with me that I know are safe.  But what if I don't see them sneaking.
  3. Hospitals are seeing a lot of bad things on Halloween to simply feel the thrill of Halloween.  Devil worshipping kind of activities such as self-mutilation.
  4. This is the biggest one of all..  The thing that scares me the most.  I am there with my kids.  Ken takes one child.  I take the other one.  We might be walking together.  But our eyes never leave the child that we are taking.  You see, it's normal for kids to be screaming because of scary things they see.  I can't believe that kids aren't kidnapped that night more than any other night.  What's one more scream?
Having said that.  Yes I will be taking my kids trick-or-treating.  I will be taking them to the pumpkin patch.  I will let them be involved in this wonderful time for kids.  But I will worry all the same.

This is simply thoughts.  Anyone have others?



kyslp said...

I don't worry about bad things happening on Halloween. However, I live in a small town where the only violent crimes are domestic disturbances. We do stay with our kids the entire time when Trick Or Treating. Some years we don't even trick or treat and just go to the church Fall Festival instead. (It's on the same night.) They get plenty of candy and there are fun flatables and games, too.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

I wish I could do something like that. The first year we were here we handed out candy we had over 400 kids that year. Not only do we get our local kids. People bus load kids into our neighborhood. Our main streets are backed up with cars.

Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads in Seattle said...

Our son is only 2 1/2, but yes, I worry. The last year I went trick-or-treating was the year I began to hate Halloween because of the older kids. They were mean to smaller kids who didn't have parents, a car drove by kids and threw empty glass bottles at the ground near them, etc. It was not a fun year as I realized that some people AREN'T nice, and I wasn't even a parent then. . . I will use due-diligence like you are doing, and we are generally careful about taking our niece (and this year our son) into the nicer neighborhoods where we know a few people.

:) Wendi

Just Breathe said...

I don't care to dress up for Halloween but my kids always loved it. I really do like handing out the candy. (I give big bars) My kids are 30 and 28 now. I don't know how I would feel if I had grandchildren today. It is so much fun going door to door. So do you look over their candy or do you get them x-rayed.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I am the same way. But, I feel safe that my kids are with me, as are my dogs...we all go trick or treating together. I do check their candy before they can eat it though.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

@Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner - I didn't even think about the older kids. But yes they pick on the little ones. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

@Just Breathe - I want my kids to go. I want them to have a good time. I just worry. Yes, I go over their candy. If anything looks tampered with, I throw it out. They get so much it doesn't even make a difference.

@Lee the Hot Flash Queen - Wow I hadn't thought about my dogs going. But then Jasmine would probably knock them all down.

Chef Eureka said...

I agree that Halloween was a lot safer, or at least, felt that way when I was younger. My older daughter went out with a group of friends and one adult last year and that seemed to work well for them.

The children never get to eat any candy until the great candy overhaul. They go weigh their bags (yeah, they have a competition to try and beat previous year's weights) and then dump it. Candy they don't want to eat gets thrown away. Then I go over every single piece of candy. If there are any holes, rips or tears and the candy shows, it gets tossed, if it is squished, it gets tossed. I just don't even hesitate to throw it away.

My kids know the process and they still never eat all their candy.

Happy Friday :)

Anonymous said...

I really think you can relax.

Amy said...

I like were I live and I got to the people's house I know. I do not go any place else. Sometimes they have trick or treating at the elderly homes and we can go there. I hope that did not sound rude. I know I will be older one day.

JennyMac said...

Since our son is only 2.5, last year was our "trial run" with trick or treating. He loved it. And he is excited to go this year as we talk about it quite frequently. Although, last year, he had no idea what he was getting and we dont let him eat any candy. I am sure he is much wiser this year to the "loot". He might get one piece this year. And yes, Halloween was SO much safer when we were little.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

@Chef Eureka - LOL I know Faith tried to double up on some houses last year to get the good candy. I'm so glad that you check your candy.

@Amy - No I perfectly understand why you only go to places you know. I think thats why people truck their kids in. Because they know its a safe environment. We do what we have to protect our children.

@JennyMac - Oh I'm sure he will figure it out really quickly. Candy works wonders on how much kids realize.

Heart2Heart said...

I simply had to pop on over and say thank you for leaving me such beautiful and heart felt comments and joining my family!

I think the post you wrote classifies so many things we as parents deal with and worry about. We don't want to take anything away but the concerns each year grow.

Hang in there and I am sure that God will continue to watch over our kids while they are out.

I too, became a follower of yours today! Love it here! Can't wait to know you even more!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Nanny Dee said...

Hi Tami -- stopping by and following from MBC -- what a great post on many things parents think about on Halloween. It sounds though like you have a very large, family-oriented neighborhood to give out so much candy. That alone is a comfort!

When children are small it is easy to steer them toward the houses you know and places that appear well-lit, welcoming and safe. Some families opt for just visiting relatives and close friends by car. The fact that you are aware of the things that could be unsafe shows that you have the situation under control!

Have fun!


Lavender Luz said...

I think I read that, statistically, such scary incidents have actually gone DOWN since today's parents were kids.

But with a 24-hour news cycle, these smaller risks LOOK bigger.

Still, I think it's always a good idea to be careful. But not fearful.

Nice to "meet" you, Tami!

Anonymous said...

I'm a worrier too and now I just worry about new things since the boys are teens. I have to agree also with the prior comment from Lavender Luz, we do hear a lot more news these days.

Great post. Also, you are featured as my Site of the Day for today (Saturday). Come by and check out your button!

Lucy said...

Im still getting over the fact that you were a tampon one year. You need to post a picture of that outfit. I hear you on the dangers but it sounds like you two are great parents and will always be on the look out.


HeartsMakeFamilies said...

@Heart2Heart - I'm so very glad to see you here at my blog. I love yours and think you have lots of valuable information on it.

I know there are lots of good things involving in Halloween but I still worry about my kids out there. I worry about everyone's kids for the same reason. Going through the Foster Care Program taught me more things than I want to know.

@Nanny Dee - Thanks for the compliment. Its not that we have a very nice large community. Although its not the worst either. Its one of the flater ones. I tend to steer the kids to the right houses and a walk a little bit ahead so that I can tell them about the scary surprises if they need to know. Or warn the ones doing it. Like they had someone jumping out at one stop. So nice to meet you Dee.

@Lavender Luz - I read that too but then the police continue to remind us so I want to be safe. Nice to "meet" you!

@Midday Escapades - yes we do hear alot more in the presss now. Thing is I remember what I did so.. lol

@Lucy - Oh thank goodness no one took a picture of me in that lol.