Halloween is coming up fast and with it the time honored tradition of collecting a boatload of sugar from friendly neighbors who aren’t the least bit concerned with your kid’s dental record. T-man and Bear are already jittery with excitement (or maybe a precursor sugar high), chattering away about costumes and candy.

We live in a sprawling neighborhood out in the country, a place where the streets are hilly and the distance between houses can be long.  A few years ago our street started a trick or treat tradition: kids pile onto a trailer rimmed with hay bales, and BrightSide uses his dad’s tractor to pull everyone from house to house.  Kids pour off, streak across lawns to shout “trick or treat!”, then move to a nearby house or pile back on to ride.  They love it.

This year I’ve been thinking back on my own trick or treating days.  Mom was in charge of helping with our costumes.  She was creative and pretty handy with a sewing machine, so she could transform us into almost anything.  On the big night mom would stay home with the candy, gushing over other kids’ costumes, while dad would take us out to collect our stash.

My memories of the trick or treating itself are fuzzy, but I remember getting tired. Walking distances are totally disproportionate to little legs, so after hitting a certain number of houses I was usually ready to call it quits.  Plus I despise being cold.  Most of my memories come from our years in northern Virginia and New Jersey, both remarkably cold places at the end of October, so there was plenty of brrrr involved in candy collection…

Even better, I remember the joy of getting back home and dumping our pillowcase contents onto the family room floor to survey our loot.  Negotiations would begin in earnest, candy getting swapped among siblings until we’d gotten rid of most of our duds.  After the razor blade scare this also became the time when my parents inspected our candy, but we didn’t let that dampen our excitement.  Not when we were staring at a pile of sugar just waiting for us to dive in.

My kids are getting dangerously close to the quitting age for trick or treating.  T-man’s already making noise that this may be his last year to go out…I can only hope they’ve made some fond memories of their own that they can look back on.

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.