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Halloween horrors and childhood memories

Across the US, moms and dads are frantically shopping for costumes and sewing and gluing last minute details onto tiny bodysuits and masks. A perennial favorite holiday is nearly upon us as American children prepare for what just might be a perfect holiday in a child’s eyes. All you have to do is get dressed up and walk around to neighbors houses and they just give you candy and treats.

Perhaps, you’re in a stage now where Halloween makes you feel frazzled. Maybe you’re the mom frantically sewing sequins on a leotard or racing around town to find a fireman’s hat. Maybe you didn’t buy candy early enough and now all that’s left is the giant far-too-expensive bags or the candy you’d reach past if you saw it in a bowl.

Or maybe you’re beyond all of that. Maybe your idea of a good Halloween is to turn off the porch light and go out for a quiet dinner or simply ignore the doorbell because your kids are grown and you no longer have the sweet tooth of childhood.

Maybe, at a time when the world is so heavy and it feels like tragedy is constant and unstoppable, the magic simply isn’t there. Who could ever blame you for feeling that way in a time of deep turmoil. Certainly, it’s admirable to care about the state of the world, be buried in despair and simply unable to find the simple magic of a holiday that is made for children.

But that’s just it. Halloween is one small way we get to still be part of childhood magic.

If you’re simply not feeling it this Halloween, I urge you to pause and remember what it’s like for the kids who will show up on your doorstep or maybe even those you’ll shepherd around your neighborhood.

Time is a thief, as they say. And plenty has changed in the decades since many of us were running through our childhood neighborhoods loading our baskets with free sweets, then ending the night back at home with our haul dumped across the floor where we’d then negotiate treat trades with friends and siblings. Most of us have been around long enough to know the true demons of the world aren’t creepy clowns and spooky skeletons.

I’m not, nor would I ever, ask you to ignore the real life horrors around you. It is deeply important to engage in the change we wish to see in our world. What I am asking is that you take a moment this Halloween and remember that although you know the secrets of what is really scary out there, it’s okay to take one evening to feed into the childhood pleasures of scary masks, princess costumes and free candy.

It’s good and even productive to participate in a positive memory for the children in your orbit, because someone else did it for you.

The team at Memories In Writing hopes you have a safe and joy-filled Halloween. Make memories for yourself, your children, grandchildren and neighbors this holiday. You won’t regret it.

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