When my son Sam was two, he and I went out trick-or-treating with another family who have a son that is one day older than Sam – we had met in the hospital when the boys were born. Sam was dressed in his cheetah costume and ready to hit the neighborhood. I figured we would be out fifteen minutes to a half-hour tops, after all he was two. After a few houses, the other boy was done with of trick-or-treating, and his dad took him home. Sam wanted to keep going…for an hour-and-a-half. He rang doorbell after doorbell, collecting candy and, at the house of a dental worker, Play-Doh. When Sam was finally finished, I had to pick him up to carry him home in his exhaustion. I was dressed as a humpback, and Sam immediately put his head on the pillow I put under my pullover to provide the illusion of the hump. A woman who was in earshot said, “Oh, look, he’s putting his head on his daddy’s hump!”
Halloween may not have the cachet of Christmas, or Thanksgiving, but it is still special. It’s a communal way to welcome fall. I love to see the costumes that kids wear, from the little ones dressed as pumpkins to the older kids who threw a costume together last minute to score some candy.
This Halloween will be different, though. In the age of COVID, Halloween is fraught with concern. We are planning to leave out Halloween grab bags for the trick-or-treaters. I am curious to see how many kids actually go out trick-or-treating, and how many will wear the masks that we now wear every day to reduce the likelihood of COVID transmission, in addition to the mask or makeup that goes with their costume. I’m also curious to see how many of the greedy little monsters will take more than their share of candy.
Sam is thirteen now, and is not planning to trick-or-treat. He likely would be staying home with or without COVID due to his being a teenager. My seven-year-old daughter is not planning to trick-or-treat either. She’ll still wear her Carmen Sandiego costume, however, because it is Halloween, and we’re planning to celebrate with another family in our neighborhood. As much as she loves the candy, she could do without going door-to-door to get it. Last year, she only lasted about a half-hour – in her defense, she was getting sick with a cold.
The candy is nice, but the real fun of Halloween is pretending to be somebody different. Instead of a costume, I’ll likely just change my voice for the evening – that’s one of the secret superpowers of voice actors, we can make voice costumes!
However you choose to celebrate Halloween, please do so safely.