10 Bags of Candy

…gave us enough to fill the big black Halloween bowl three times. I gave it all away, except for the four Kit-Kats, one package Peanut-Butter M&Ms. Well, I also set aside a single Snickers bar for me and a peanut butter cup for Fuzzy, but still five pieces of candy is about the amount of leftovers I was hoping to have.

I turned out the lights a little after 8:30, because I was out of candy. Apparently, most everyone on our block was also out of candy, or just decided 8:30 was a fair time to quit. It seems reasonable to me. We didn’t have any stray teenagers this year, only those who were accompanying their little brothers or sisters, and all the kids were polite, though one crew in costume as witches offered the statement, “Jesus loves you,” as well as “Happy Halloween.” I found that kind of creepy, honestly. Right up there with the woman at McDonald’s drive-through telling us to “have a blessed day.”

There were no Harry Potter characters this year – I think because the series has ended, and the movies are now directed at people too old to dress as little Harry or Hermione for Halloween. My favorites of the night were Minnie Mouse (aged 3.5) who curtsied and said, “Trick-or-Treat, please,” and the chef who showed up in dinosaur themed chef pants, and a chef’s hat with a dinosaur pin, carrying a stock pot to gather his candy. “I love that you’re carrying a pot,” I told him, as I dropped three pieces into it, each landing with a satisfying CLINK against the copper bottom. (We’re a corner house, so usually get kids early in their rounds).

Later, near the end of the night, a group of young boys came by, all dressed as pirates and muskeeers, peeked through my foyer and saw the ceramic ghosts all lit on my side table, and Beetlejuice on the tv and said to his friends, “Wow, she has a cool house. She gives good candy AND has a cool house. I like this house.” Then, to me, after thanking me for the chocolate, “Are you an artist?”

“Actually,” I said. “I’m a writer.”

“Wow. You must be pretty creative then,” he said. “Cuz you have a cool house, and it looks like you’re an artist.”

I suddenly have a new appreciation of ten-year-old boys.

My favorite moment of the night, however, was when a single father wheeled his developmentally disabled, chair-bound princess up my walk. Her siblings had gone on ahead of her, and were several houses away, and her bag was nearly empty, but she had curlicues of ribbon in her hair, rouge on her cheeks, a lovely dress that hid the braces on her legs almost completely, and the biggest sparkling brown eyes I’ve ever seen. She looked to be about seven.

“Happy Halloween,” I said to her, helping her with the bag (her father was holding the chair steady), “you look beautiful.” I stuck four pieces of candy in there, figuring Dad would tire out pretty quickly. We chatted for a few minutes – she liked my pumpkin lights – and I offered her father a bottle of water (the high tomorrow is projected to be 68 but today it hit 80, and pushing a chair up and down the long hilly walks we all have is hard work). Other kids were crowding her, and he looked upset, but I caught the eye of another parent, and told him, “No, take your time. They’ll wait.”

And they did.
And as they were leaving, one of the little girls in the next group said, “That girl in the wheelchair has really pretty hair.”

So, no parties, no pizza, and my pumpkins are classic jack-o-lanterns this year, but even so…it’s been a great Halloween.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 10 Bags of Candy by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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