A couple of years ago a new family arrived in our street. On Halloween their two young girls got dressed up and went trick or treating.
Last year their numbers had increased to Six.
This year, as I was doing my shopping I had a thought, and threw a little bag of chocolate eyeballs into my trolley "just in case".
Yesterday at the supermarket there were 12 fat orange pumpkins on display for carving. I'm pretty sure they didn't expect to sell any, but at $1 per kilo, I thought "Why Not?" I've seen pictures on line and have been curious about how the whole thing worked...
I chose the biggest, and it cost me a whopping $4.87 .
After school. Sarah and I carefully removed its slimey innards - gross- and carved our first pumpkin. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, we discovered the skin is as tough as boots, but the flesh inside was like slicing apples. Miss 9 drew a jack-o-lantern face on the pumpkin and we set to work. Grand plans for wonderful art got quickly downscaled as we realised how tricky it is to manoeuvre a kitchen knife around inside a pumpkin neatly.
But in the end we had a BLOODY GOOD pumpkin head.
We put a tea light candle in it and placed it outside our door so any little "Trick or Treaters" would know we would welcome them.
At 6pm there were 4 groups of kids dressed up in costumes ( to be honest I think I've already seen most of those costumes at the Book Week parade this year) .
This is what I saw -
Kids running around being silly and goofey and having fun. This evening they were allowed to walk up and down the street, they felt safe and they were laughing.
I saw big kids walking, holding the hand of little kids. Big kids helping little kids in using their manners .
I saw a big brother lift his little sister up in his arms so she could have a turn at pushing the door bell. Then he put her down and helped straighten out her long sparkly princess dress. In that moment, as she looked at him, she ADORED him.
I saw Mums standing at their letterboxes, watching from a distance, trusting that the neighbourhood would be safe and kind.
I saw elderly neighbours clapping hands for a little boy who performed a trick - a fairly impressive backflip !
Miss 9 had already put on her witch outfit for the pumpkin carving, as you do, so when she saw one of her friends at our door she asked if she could go with them. Off she went, mingling into a group of kids she didn't know, making new friends.
The kids were polite and respectful, they used beautiful manners at every door.
I have to say that it was a lot of fun, it was so nice to watch the kids just being kids. We need more of that in our very serious, locked down world.
There has been a lot of talk on Social Media that Halloween is Un-Australian. That we don't need, and in fact MUST NOT succumb to this American holiday. That allowing kids to Trick or Treat is begging and bludging off neighbours.
Never-mind the fact that we celebrate Chinese New Year ( and we aren't China) , the Queens birthday is no where near her actual birthday, the nation stops for a horse race , apparently those are all worthy undertakings... I really don't understand the opposition to something that is really just a bit of fun for children.
With all the negative talk about Halloween, how it encourages kids to beg, to be hoodlums running through the street, the only questionable behaviour I saw came from a 50 year old married man who came to his door, yelled and swore at small children and lectured them on being UN-Australian. Guess who I admire more?
Next year we will be carving two pumpkins :-)