All Hallows Eve.
That special time of year when parents can be whatever they want. Pumpkin, vampire,
witch, or block of cheese, it really doesn't matter as long as you're having a good time. On
this great night, for once, we can absolutely relate to our kids. Revelling in the ancient
traditions of turnip carving and duck apples. Going through the motions that systematically
takes us back to a place in our lives. A place where monsters totally do live under your bed,
you actually will die if you don't reach the lamppost in time, and your mate really did see a werewolf in the alleyway.
And with this all-access ticket to the mysterious, golden years of our youth, who wouldn't
be disappointed Trick or Treat is cancelled this year? Our chance to be reborn again, as our
young, curious selves, albeit for one night, has been pulled from under our feet.
I'm going back in time now, revisiting primary school Nat. It's Halloween. Beach bucket in hand, wrapped in a bin bag, red food dye all over my mug. My mates have turned up. One
actually has a witch's hat on, and everyone's giving her evils. No one wears a coat, (It ruins the look.) Plus, you can save on the body paints by turning blue. We scuttled around the streets, glistening like cockroaches in our black plastic wrappers. Hardly anyone ever
answered the door, some threw a bunch of F words our way, but we were happy just to get
a few withered sweets or the worst parts of a pensioner's fruit bowl.
Nowadays, it's all changed, of course. Tricksters are the height of fashion, parents, too.
There are face masks so real you wouldn't know whether real-life zombies walked amongst us. We dress our homes in holographic displays and wonder webbing, anticipating the sounds of wonder and terror as the local kids pass by.
And, why the hell not? Why shouldn’t we grasp every chance we can to have fun? To set aside that space for our little ones, to be creative and free. Laptops down, briefcases closed, a trusty mobile to capture the night (or else it wouldn't exist.)
Fun. That's what it's called. Something we used to have a lot of, now it's in short supply and monitored by experts down South. Surely, we need fun now more than ever?
But although our traditions will be adapted this year, we should still mark our important calendar moments. For stability. For joy. For love. For normality. For connection. For sanity's sake!
It is adults that make comparisons—this year to the year before—that party to this one.
A child will happily hack away at a pumpkin and forget all about the door to door visits. Dot
a few sweets about, and it'll be the best Halloween ever.
The main thing I'm going to remember this year is this. Halloween is a place in our hearts.
It's ingrained and instilled in us from the moment we can grasp a plastic rat. Children
remember the time spent, laughs shared, sweets munched, and memories made. They don't
remember what they didn't do while they were having fun.
Let's forget about what could have been and focus on what can be, and what will be…for we
will do it all bigger and better next year, and it will be all the sweeter for it.