As Halloween approached this year Big C showed an interest in trick or treating with us. Last year he went to a party at the youth group he attends, so I thought his years of going with us were over. When he first asked about it I didn’t really think about it, but as Halloween got closer I started to get anxious. At almost 6 ft at 14 years old he doesn’t fit the part of what society sees as a ‘trick or treater’. I I was nervous that someone would say something about him being too old when he innocently said “trick or treat”. I was nervous, how would I deal with some stranger breaking my 14 year old’s heart at the door by saying “you’re too old”. I had seen the posts on fb, people who criticize teenage trick or treaters, especially in facebook groups. Some of them had issues with disrespectful teens, and they absolutely should have had those issues, but others were straight up upset that teenagers had the nerve to come to their door and say “trick or treat” and wanting candy. I was ready to suggest he maybe stay home and hand out candy, because that’s what the big kids who are too old do, right? But he wanted to go, and who was I to stop him?Where in the Halloween “rules” does it say you must be under a certain age to participate? Society says they are “too old”, for what? Dressing up? Eating candy? Because I know many adults who do those things still, and enjoy them.
When I look at my son I see a boy who isn’t quite a man yet, but isn’t a child anymore. A boy who already has given up so many childhood things because society and peers have told him he’s “too old”, one who in the last few years has given up the Easter bunny, tooth fairy and Santa. One who has recently started high school and has given even more responsibly that comes with getting older. I see a boy who, when writing his own Christmas list, has asked for less since figuring out that the younger kids who still believe need to keep the magic alive and that money can be tight. So why, after having already given up so much of his childhood fun and innocence should I be the one to take this away from him? So, I said nothing. He put on his suit, and went out as the best Bruce Wayne in the history of ever. Thankfully not one person had anything rude to say to him, and they all had fun guessing at his costume. He was polite, letting little kids go ahead of him, and even went back to a house after leaving when a group of four kids had come up and he over heard the lady say she only had enough for three. He turned right around and handed the fourth girl the candy he had just received from that house because he knew that it would upset that little girl not to get the candy her siblings did a lot more than it would upset him.
When we got home I was so glad that he wanted to come with us and that I hadn’t said anything. For two hours he got to just be a kid, and he was happy for it. Seeing him happy warmed my heart enough to not care about the facebook posts that were negative towards teenage trick or treaters. Maybe one day they’ll understand, when they look at their teenager and still see a kid who just wants to have fun one more year. When they do, don’t worry, because our house will not question your teenager who comes to our door and says “trick or treat”