And today is the entrance into the holiday season that I so enjoy… HALLOWEEN!!!
Now I love Halloween. But I love the innocent form of it. The little kid scares, the Hocus Pocus movies that have some quick jump starts but overall are not gory yet keep you in the spirit of everything.
I was never into slasher movies. I have a hard time dealing with suspense movies because I have enough anxiety in my life.
And while I know that most people will be providing some kind of spooky memory about Halloween, like how they had some kind of supernatural experience affecting them. Or how they spoke with someone transient only to find out from a third party that the transient died thirty years ago, I’m going for a more happy version.
When I was five, I was living in Colorado, just outside of Denver. If you’re not familiar, that area is rather high in altitude. I lived in a very nice neighborhood dictated by home owners associations when they were still new. There were so many new families who had children my same age. On Halloween evening of 1986, I remember it so clear. It was the year I was He-Man. In those days you didn’t have fancy cloth costumes meant to look like the original in the best way. Then? You wore a plastic jump suit that had the body painted on. And then you wore a mask with eye holes that were half the size of your own eyes and nose holes that barely matched your nose.
But it worked back then. I remember all the neighborhood kids being led by their fathers. We all walked along the street, from house to house that was decked to the nines in Halloween gear. One was a witch’s coven. Another haunted house. It was a wonderful shared experience among the neighborhood that I can only hope we will find again.
And while that was fun, and so enjoyable, there was something else that stuck in my mind.
My Father was not a strict man. Yes, he had his “dad” moments where he raised his voice at us when there was nothing else we responded to. But he was fairly liberal in how I and my brothers proceeded in our lives.
During the Halloween of 1986, there was a blizzard. And while there was no snow when the evening started, it quickly accumulated over my head as we proceeded through the neighborhood. Slowly but surely, my friends dropped away, heading home to count their candy and call it a night.
But not me. I was on a mission And my father never questioned me. As the thick snowflakes fell, the air was deathly quiet. We were only illuminated by the street lights and it gave a sharp, yet soft glow to the neighborhood as we walked through it. The only sound was that of mine and my father’s footsteps as we walked through the accumulating snow. It got so cold my plastic costume started to freeze and crack under the constant movement.
But I was captivated by the Halloween spirit. We had dropped off my younger brother earlier. But I knew an opportunity when I saw it. I was going to get that candy. I was the only one left.
And my father never complained. He would follow me with interest, watching as I walked with determination from house to house, and my costume slowly breaking apart with each step.
It was really one of the only times that I could really notice my father’s appreciation for me. I had a goal and I wasn’t going to let a simple blizzard stop me. I honestly think it was one of the first times he looked upon me with pride. And appreciated how head strong I was, despite how different I was from him.
To give him credit, the temperature was below zero, and while I don’t remember it being that cold, plastic costumes don’t lie. And he never once tried cajoling me into turning around into going home. He was willing to stick out the blizzard as long as it meant his oldest son was going to have a Happy Halloween.
And I always smile thinking about it.
Happy Halloween, everybody. And #StayTwined