I am blogging from a most unusual spot. While many of my friends both old and new are in Pittsburgh for the National Youth Workers Convention, I am in my backyard with my son camping out. Halloween is almost over, and for another year we have avoided it.
From our more conservative days, my wife and I have not celebrated Halloween. It started mostly as a religious viewpoint. We weren’t concerned about demons and what-not, we just didn’t feel that it was something that was compatible with who we are as people of faith.
Don’t get me wrong, we most certainly believe in the supernatural, and we believe that demons exist. We’re just not sure that demons give a rat’s behind about Halloween. It wasn’t the supernatural we were avoiding, it was the more than natural, people giving themselves and excuse to act in ways that weren’t who they were meant to be.
We’ve been married for fifteen years now. Sometimes feels like five, sometimes feels like fifty. But this is our fifteenth Halloween together, and we still aren’t celebrating. With Liam around now, it’s getting harder.
Earlier tonight, Liam took his drawing pad and wrote “Boo”. Yeah, next year is going to be a problem.
Really, I have nothing against candy, I have nothing against costumes, I have nothing against monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein (that’s Fronk-en-schteen). But our reasons for not celebrating Halloween have changed. The reason is still religious too – it’s this sense of consumption. Scratch that – it is this sense of OVER-consumption, this gluttonous attitude mixed with a sense of entitlement. I don’t know, maybe it is demons we’re scared of.
I don’t know that we have to worry about Liam. So as to avoid the trick-or-treating mob, we went out tonight, a walk through Toys-r-Us (Geoffrey spells his name wrong) and dinner at Chili’s. We actually had to force a toy on Liam (how does that happen?) – his first ViewMaster. Once he figured it out, he had a blast. Stereo images might not be all that cool anymore to adults, but Liam loved it.
But not enough to stop stealing his mother’s fries at dinner.
I think the only reason he isn’t using it now is that we’re outside in the dark. That, and well, he finally passed out about half an hour ago.
Being dad isn’t always easy. But tents and fries and simple toys always help.