We’re the house with the full size bars. Handing out gigantic wrapped chocolates is a Stockton Family tradition that is rewarded with wide-eyed appreciation of small spidermen and princesses, and keeps teenagers from egging the house. Also, stocking the home with enormous candy bars is, at least for me, an obstacle from eating them. I could easily consume my own weight in two-bite, fun size 3 Musketeers increments. Much like drinking wine at the catered party, where the glass is perpetually filled and the count becomes fuzzy, I’ll conveniently forget how many breaks I took with tiny Kit Kats. It takes an extraordinary number of bite size Snickers to satisfy me. But unwrapping a full bar? That’s too obvious a sin to commit.
Brodie has asked to be the door greeter/candy bar distributor this year. My ten year old is approaching the holiday with I’m-too-old-for-that disdain. This saddens me. Our smallish neighborhood with far too many darkened doorsteps of elderlies who don’t want to be bothered hasn’t provided the spooky fun spoils every kid deserves. I loved Halloween as a kid: forcing down Mom’s healthy meal in advance of the anticipated pillow case of junk, waiting forever and ever for Dad to get home (when did he say he’d be here, Mom? Is he coming? Did he call? IT’S GETTING DARK!!!), unsuccessfully refusing the warm coat over the plastic-y costume, and finally rushing out into the shadowy streets with the promise of free candy.
I’m fairly certain my Dad initiated the Trick or Drinking tradition in our neighborhood. He and the other un-costumed fathers stood at the curb with their clinking glasses of vodka and scotch and approached for refills at houses where I guess they knew a “Trick or Drink!” appeal would be honored. After the pillow cases were heavy, we all landed in someone’s family room to sort and swap while the grown ups drained their lowballs and forgot it was a school night. The next day, the city kids bragging about their absurdly large spoils from many floors of closely spaced apartment doors sounded like cheating to us. Halloween happens in the dark; and it’s a little tiring, a little chilly, a little scary, a little magical.
I’m hoping for an eleventh hour change of heart from Brodie—that he’ll swap his indifference for a ninja costume and head out into the night with his little brother and Bernie. I’m hoping that the whole romantic notion of unlimited sweets and a flexible bedtime is too alluring to keep a ten year old boy at home to tend a bowl of big candy bars. Though I love Brodie’s maturity and “old soul” approach to the world, I don’t want him to miss the fleeting fun of Halloween– a precious time of goofy, sugar-fueled excitement coupled to the safe feeling of Dads at curbs and neighborly fellowship. I want at least one more year for him to collect his own Halloween memories, and sort his spoils while discussing the ethics of the just-take-one bowl and why anyone gives out pretzels.
I’d like to think our address is included on the trick-or-treating route, as well as in the catalog of Halloween stories, for any number of teeny Harry Potters. We’re the house with the full size bars! And if you show up with less than two fingers in your lowball, you can totally count on the Lee house for a Trick or Drink pour. Happy Halloween, friends. Go make some memories.