happiness and halloween

Ok.

I swear I learn something new every day. But holidays <although Halloween isn’t a real holiday … it is … well … just a day that has a different name then the other days> seem to teach me some simple complex things.

Halloween?

Well. it has taught me some things about women:

http://brucemctague.com/5-things-witches-have-taught-me-about-women

And this year?

Happiness. Or maybe let’s just say the simple joys of childhood.

Some background. A new family moved in next door and they have reminded of the simple joy of childhood and Halloween.

I knew my little world would change when an 8 year old boy and 2 girls, one 10 and one 13, became my new neighbors.

Mornings become a whirlwind of walking to the school bus and a variety of cars stopping by to pick up what seems to be dozens of girls giggling in the driveway.

It really sunk in several weeks ago one Saturday afternoon as I sat on my front porch typing on my laptop and I could hear some boys laughing and yelling in the distance. Similar to a fire engine when driving you hear the warning siren but are unsure whether it is nearing or will simply stay somewhere out of sight in the distant the cacophony meant nothing to me until it crested the top of the hill and veered onto the road in front of me. I look up to see two bikes and a skateboard zooming around the corner.

And not three boys but skeletor, spider man and superman yelling and laughing at each other <boys in costumes> as they crashed into the driveway next door when Nicholas (actually a cowboy) comes running out with pistols and hat and … happiness.

The girls and their friends sit after school on the front porch next door laughing and giggling and listening to music.

The birds and arguing squirrels have been replaced by the simple joy of childhood.

Surprisingly I love it.

Who would have thought how exciting it would be to see if batman and a cowboy could make a basket at the hoop in the driveway?

Anyway.

Halloween.

Halloween really reminded me of the simple joys of childhood. And it reminds me that sometimes we adults, in the attempt to constantly teach our children lessons, forget that sometimes the best lessons are the ones when we leave the simple joy unfettered.

This means Halloween isn’t anti christian.

It isn’t about the worship or glorification of witchcraft.

It even isn’t about greed and how much “booty” you can get walking from house to house.

It is the joy of dressing your house up with pumpkins and fake spider webs and “boo” stickers in the house windows and multiple bats on stakes carefully arranged in the front lawn.

It is how a 13 year old girl stops being a moody tween and being with her mom side by side carefully crafting the perfectly designed front porch for everyone to see and experience when they trick or treat.

It is the little boy and his dad carefully building the skeleton’s grave in the front yard with its ball and chain and his own pirate hat he lends the skeleton just for the occasion.

It is the full house display … built 3 weeks before Halloween night … and constantly changing as the children add or subtract things as they think of it.

It is the motion activated creepy music dangling spider that the wind makes play in the morning as the girls run out to the school bus <and they laugh>.

Yup. Halloween is simply an event where, if we adults permit it, we get an unfettered view of the simple joy of childhood.

I know I am guilty of over thinking on occasion. And I do believe we adults are often over sensitive to lessons and political correctness and insuring our children “understand” things.

But sometimes it’s nice to let children be children and let them enjoy the simplicity of childhood.

I know that having a new family next door, while noisier, is a good thing.

While I love the sounds of birds in the morning and the crickets at night I am not sure there is a better sound in the world then the laughter of a child.

Halloween awakens happy, fun, childhood memories. Trudging door to door on a trick-or-treat mission dressed in a costume waiting to hear the voices of other faceless costumes walking by to hear, and see, if it is someone you know <in a hopefully less cool costume>.

The excitement of walking the neighborhood streets at night. Freedom and laughter.

Halloween continues to be filled with fun … walking in the chill of autumn wearing costumes which permits an uninhibited make-believe night be a ‘real dressed up’ night, and, of course, the semi-hedonistic joy of the full sack of candy.

If we permit it … once a year … Halloween invites us to reenter the world of a simple childhood.

Some may choose to view Halloween with some sinister connotations but to most of us it is simply a time of fun dressing up with friends and laughter.

Enjoy Halloween for exactly what it is … the pure and simple joy of childhood.

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Written by Bruce