It was a cold Friday night, October 31 to be exact, and this was the first year I would be going trick-or-treating with my friends, no mom or dad tagging along. I was so exited as the bell rang ending school for the day; I felt the adrenaline pumping through my body. This was going to be great! Or was it?
It was about 8 o’clock at night and it was just getting dark outside, so my friends and I headed out. The first couple of houses we hit were the standard “Please only take one candy” bowls on the porch but as we rounded the corner and knocked on the door of the next house, something unexpected happened…
The door slowly creaked open as we greeted the homeowner.
The woman said, “Aren’t you a little old to be doing this?” and proceeded to shut the door in our faces. Baffled and embarrassed by her remark we silently treaded over to the next house. Seeing the person sitting on their porch, we secretly dreaded and anticipated their response.
Unfortunately we received the same unkind reply. This definitely put a damper on the night, but after that everything seemed to go well. Chocolates, suckers, and even those hard Halloween toffees started to fill our reusable grocery bags.
We walked down the street kicking the amber coloured leaves across the sidewalk and talking about the different costumes we saw people wearing that night. We walked up the wet pavement of the next house on our route arriving at a paint chipped porch and rang the doorbell. A small woman opened the door, stared at us and shut the door without saying anything. Yes their house was still covered with decorations, pumpkins lit and lights on. Completely perplexed and shamefaced we walked away at what felt like a snails pace.
No we’re no longer cute babies, carried door-to-door for candy we can’t eat. We’re not those adorable preschoolers who haven’t the courage to say trick-or-treat without holding mommy’s hand. We’re about twelve. But we’re twelve year olds who love Halloween.
I’m not sure who decided the acceptable age range for trick-or-treaters but every year it seems to get younger and younger. Or maybe that’s because I’m getting older. Why should my age determine how I enjoy the holidays?
My friends and I worked hard on our costumes. We planned our route the week before. We weren’t disruptive or disrespectful. Many of the houses I visited as a little girl now turned me away as a bigger girl. Why revoke the right for us, or other kids our age, to enjoy a night of fun and a piece of candy? Why punish us? Should we stay at home and not celebrate or would you rather we live up to our troublemaker reputation and skulk around the neighbourhood and scare kids?
Maybe you had a bad experience with another kid but we’re not all the same. I don’t judge you by what you offer me at Halloween. I don’t judge you by how you decorate your front porch. I want to have fun, dressing up, walking with my friends, greeting my neighbours and enjoying a sweet piece of candy. Is that wrong? Parents, teachers, the Internet tells us to be kind and open minded but it’s hard when so many people we don’t know think the worst of us.
This Halloween I’m going out again, a year older. I have only one request for those who may greet us and other older kids at the door. Please don’t judge, ignore, or close the door on us, even if we aren’t like the cute preschooler who just walked down your driveway. We’re out to have innocent fun and create memoires with our friends.
Have you ever been denied candy when trick-or-treating? Have you turned kids away because you thought they were too old?
Bye for now and have a Happy Halloween!