By the time my kids were that age, we let them go maybe in the block we lived on, and we stayed on the curb keeping a close watch. They had freedom—but not nearly as much. Today my grandchildren never go trick or treating alone. An adult always accompanies them. And, truth be told, I don’t like to be the adult left home alone to pass out treats. Alone in my own home, I’ve been known to turn out all the lights, bring the dog in, and ignore the doorbell. It made me feel like Scrooge but I also felt safe—some of those trick-or-treaters got pretty darn big. The last few years I’ve sat on my neighbor’s porch, where I can watch my house and enjoy the little kids who come with their parents and their fanciful costumes. They’re sweet, polite, and lots of fun. But there are those occasional over-age ones with an attitude.
To me Halloween is a sad reflection of how our world has changed and how childhood has changed. Kids don’t have the freedom to run and play throughout the neighborhood that older generations enjoyed. Back in the day, during the summer children flew out the door after breakfast, knew to reappear for lunch, and came home when Mom called out “Dinner!” or rang a bell. Unheard of today when we have carefully pre-arranged play dates for our children.
Web site: http://www.judyalter.com
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Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trouble-in-a-big-box-judy-alter/1112558618?ean=2940014916752
Turquoise Morning Press: http://www.turquoisemorningpress.com/p/bookstore.html#uds-search-results