A Parent’s Ode to Halloween
Oh, Hallow’s Eve; our Halloween,
Here you are again.
Seems like it was just yesterday
We rang you in Old Friend.
What was once just a single day
In which we reveled simply,
Has turned into a month’s affair
We conform to most strictly.
As soon as kids have started school
Seduced by confections of pumpkin spice
We are handily sucked in.
We work with great diligence
On decor, costumes, and treats.
The point, perhaps, escapes us
But expectations we will meet.
The parties, parades, and celebrations
Will not plan themselves.
We navigate the minefield
That are local store shelves.
The craft store for costume pieces,
The grocer for the candy,
The teacher needs party supplies,
And a wig would be just dandy.
As we wander round the arts supplies,
We wish we’d learned to sew;
Or that we’d gone to Amazon
A week or two ago.
Each year we tell ourselves
No Halloween Store again;
But each year we need that one thing
And we head back to that dark den.
We can’t shop with our children.
The displays are not for them.
If they aren’t frightening or full of gore,
They’re inspired by Penthouse Forum.
Next, we try not to think about
How the dollar store trinkets came to be.
We need inexpensive goodies for bags;
It’s on the up and up, hopefully.
Last stop is the candy aisle
Where the best treats must be chosen.
High fructose corn syrup, GMO’s, dyes:
It’s more like pick your poison.
It’s not all work and doom, of course,
Wonderful family moments are included.
Pumpkin carving, hayrides, apple picking…
The joy in them can’t be disputed.
School events, parties, the town parade:
They go off without a hitch.
Sure we haven’t slept that much,
But the fun’s at a fevered pitch.
As October winds down,
We can see the finish line.
And celebrate this holiday
The way we originally had in mind.
We get out into the neighborhood
And knock on every door.
Our dressed up little ones
Hold up their bags and implore:
“Trick or Treat!”
They smile underneath handmade masks.
“And what are you supposed to be?”
A friendly neighbor asks.
We arrive back home all tuckered out
With treat bags full to the brim.
We begin the process of winding down
Then the sugar rush kicks in.
With great effort we manage to
Get the kids off to bed.
We look at the enormous candy pile
And scratch our tired heads.
What should we do with all of this?
It certainly can’t stay here.
We think over our options
While we sample a 3 Musketeer.
The next morning’s a little rough—
The kids want to stay in bed.
But we’re relieved it’s November now
And out to school we head.
We think to ourselves,
Perhaps for today
We’ll relax and try to get back to
The things we’ve kept at bay.
We stop to check the mail.
We had forgotten it the day before.
And what should we find?
But Christmas catalogs galore.
(*Photo via Shutterstock)