I have no issues with celebrating Halloween. [Or taking part in a Fall Festival, for that matter.] My boys, when they were younger, used to enjoy trick-or-treating. And I loved dressing them up in their chosen alter-egos.
Years back, we’d buy them costumes that were worth at least four bags of candy, and then we’d meet up with our older son J’s neighborhood friends. They’d go off on their own while the hubby and I would walk around with the younger one, ringing doorbells and approaching strangers for a piece of candy or two. It’s that one time in the year when they’re allowed to accept something from people they don’t know.
I remember one Halloween, someone had set up an elaborate display. He put up a tent on his front yard, and anyone who wanted candy had to pass through it. I peeked. There were several TV screens, all playing scary scenes from horror movies. There were light and sound effects as well. E, my younger son, refused to even go closer. It was not, obviously, worth a piece of candy.
The older kids who went in, however, went in groups. There were additional shrieks to the effects. Or maybe it was just the trick-or-treaters. They’d burst out of the exit, pushing and shoving, gasping and laughing. It looked like a lot of fun.
The hubby asked me if I wanted to enter. I declined. Not just because the movies were gory, and I don’t like gore, but because I knew better.
I know what it’s like to be really scared. I know what it’s like to have my knees give way unexpectedly, my senses registering a presence that is altogether sinister and threatening. And let me tell you something, it’s never fun. I never laughed. I almost peed in my pants. But I definitely wasn’t thrilled.
For J and E, my scary stories are echoes of a past life in a country they only remember from their summer vacations. Their grandparents’ house is their home away from home, and there’s hardly anything unpleasant they would associate with the months they spent there.
For me, scary things do happen. I lived through them, I can’t explain them, and I don’t ever want to go through them again. Ever.
Like that time I…
Never mind. Still too scary.
And that’s why, while I certainly have no problems with celebrating Halloween, I do draw the line at certain things.
But only for myself.
The fact is, the hubby and our boys do not have the same experiences. Thus, to them it’s nothing but a fun event.
And I let them be.
Because there are many things in life you need to experience to understand.
And this is definitely one of them.