The longer I’ve been a parent, the less sure I am of some of the decisions the DH and I made during the early years of mommy and daddyhood.
Take Halloween, for example.
When Jacob and Josh were young, we tried (oh how we tried) to get them excited about dressing up in costume and going trick-or-treating.
They hated it.
They never liked to wear costumes and they were terrified of knocking on doors for trick-or-treat. When they got home after a grand total of 2 houses, they would rip their costumes off as fast as they could and you could just see the stress and tension leave their little faces.
After we moved back to our hometown and Halloween arrived again, DH and I decided to not participate in the traditional Halloween activities for a few reasons:
- The kids clearly hated it
- Halloween is a DARK event. I’ve never enjoyed being scared, haunted houses, the references to the dead, gore or violent imagery. DH isn’t a fan either.
When the new church we became a part of announced their Halloween alternative event, we elected to do that instead. A local family opened up their farm to church families. There were games in horse stalls, pumpkin pie judging, cake walks, bonfires to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, etc. Our kids loved it and did we. We participated in this for several years.
For reasons unknown to use, the family event went by the wayside so our tradition become taking the kids out to eat and then to the grocery store to buy candy.
Then…we had Ben.
Ben started Kindergarten this year and this guy LOVES to dress in costume. Halloween is rapidly approaching again and we’ll have to talk with him on why our family doesn’t “do” Halloween. I still don’t like Halloween. There are many elements of it that make me uncomfortable and our family line has been “no” to Halloween.
But I wonder if we’re being too regimented about it. I know there are many fun elements to it and just because my older two didn’t like it doesn’t mean that Ben is the same way; and sometimes it seemed a bit mean to deprive our kids of the fun of dressing up in classroom parties.
DH is steadfast in our decision of no Halloween and I respect that.
Jacob is now in high school and Josh is in junior high. I asked them both if they feel that their dad and I were off base when we said no Halloween. They both said they liked the tradition of eating out and buying candy afterwards. I have no reason to doubt their honesty but I still wonder.
Did we rob them of a part of their childhood?
This post isn’t really about Halloween. I don’t judge anyone for participating so please don’t judge me for not.
I just wonder if anyone has made a firm decision in the early days of parenthood and after a few years…do you wonder if you made the right call?