We got to experience another Halloween in NYC.Not only is it a whole new experience going through trick-or-treating in a neighbourhood like TriBeCa where the kids go to businesses and not houses, and then through 30 floors of apartment buildings (potential for some really great ROI), but this city goes OFF for this holiday. OFF.
It’s fun. But a bit overwhelming. And a bit chaotic. And a bit much for this old soul who’s default is to be a bit of a loner ( i include my safe little unit in my loner-dome). Being thrust into the festivities that are fuelled by sugar, and screaming, and generally everything that every kid F&$ing LOVES, is the right thing for any normal parent to just do. I should want to do this because my kids want to do it; it makes them happy, and it builds special relationships and memories for them in their new community.
Waking up this morning, the fog of hallowe’en ( ok, I ended up having a lot of fun. And a fair amount of Halloween punch), I realized how much of a wacky energy cloud Halloween had cast for the last month or so.
Christmas is obvious- there are clear expectations around the events, the food, the gifts…. It is not at all subtle.
But Halloween (maybe just here) takes on a weird undercurrent… And it’s got a dark, creepy, sneaks-up-on-you flavouring, thanks to it being about ghosts, and witches, and bats and generally nefarious subjects.
All of a sudden we’re wearing costumes the 1st week of October, and scouting out weekend pumpkin carving festivals by the 13th. Candy bowls are brimming by the 20th, and until the 1st, the hysteria is building.
And again, kids love it.
And clearly I am committed for as long as my kids still want to participate in this holiday. And I do enjoy most of it.
The part that I struggled most with again this year was the whole ‘interacting with people’ bit.
A loner. A recluse. It sounds so much more mysterious instead of ‘If I could, I might actually live in a bubble that I could step in and out of, still have people generally just know that I was kind and smart and fun, but not have to actually engage and show any of that, nor give them any opportunity to judge me.’ A loner. Introverted. Or sometimes just a bit of a shy asshole.
Halloween, and other community and kid-based events in life force you, or more positively, give you the opportunity to belong and become a part of a community. Newsflash: even though I have shy asshole tendencies, there are some nice, smart, fun people out there, and I might actually enjoy their company, learn something from them, and share something good with them in turn as well. It could just happen!!
This year I actually initiated the trick or treating plan with friends of Nora’s, so clearly my bark is bigger than my bite.
And it was fun. A lot of fun.
The kids ran and chased and squealed and fell, and ripped costumes.
The parents laughed and shepherded and drank.
And today at drop-off I smiled at a few faces and it didn’t kill me.