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Snow White in Oz

candy

Well, tomorrow is Halloween. Are you ready? When I was a kid, there was always that one lady in the neighborhood who decorated her house like the set of a Vincent Price movie, wore an elaborate costume, and stayed in character while distributing candy. When I say "candy," I mean the best stuff you could get as a kid. No "Fun Size" candy bars, no generic bubble gum. I'm talking about the full-sized Snickers, Bazooka Joe and the like. No popcorn balls (who likes those things, anyway?) and NO apples.

My parents would walk with us from street to street, stand at the end of the block, and wait while we went from house to house, performing for candy. That's right, we were expected to sing, dance, tell jokes, or do something other than simply show up. We'd perform songs we had learned in school or even perform little skits. There was one year that I went as Jimmy Carter and a friend was Ronald Regan. We went from house to house staging a mini "debate." How times have changed.

By comparison, my own kids' Halloween is kind of dull. Grace is wearing a costume she already owns: A Snow White dress from her princess dress-up collection (sorry, Damomma). Together with her red ruby slippers and blonde hair, she's a bit of a mish-mash of fictional characters (I'm calling her Snow White in Oz). William is wearing a dog costume we found at Old Navy that's really just a glorified coat and hat, which is perfect since he wouldn't tolerate anything else.

Last night, we carved pumpkins and all laughed while the dog ate pumpkin seeds (but not when she puked them up a few hours later). On Tuesday, we'll take the kids to Main Street around 4:00. The shopkeepers open their doors, decorate a bit (some more than others), and hand out candy to the little ones. As someone who had the childhood experience described above, this is profoundly strange. First, we're out during the day! Who trick-or-treats during the day? Secondly, we're going into stores along Main Street, not people's homes. Nothing says "Halloween" like a bag of Twizzlers from the pizza shop. Last year, Main Street was positively packed with kids and their families, so I guess we aren't the only strange ones.

We'll get home just in time for dinner, and I'll have to perform the Saddest Halloween Activity. See, Gracie has a peanut allergy, which means I've got to divide her loot into two piles: The "have's" and the "potentially lethal" (you can see last year’s piles above). It's sad to deny her a portion of her candy, but even sadder to jam an EpiPen into her leg and rush to the ER.

So, that's our Halloween. Different than I remember, but still fun. Mostly.

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