It's Halloween. Kids are sugared up, and parents blurry eyed after late night, Pinterest inspired, costume-constructing benders to display across Facebook feeds and the far-too-many organized parties cramming the calendar.
I don't sew, not even buttons. But, in a momentary lapse of judgment, the magical idea of hand crafting a Hershey Kiss costume for my then three-year old seemed like a good idea. I soon called my sister in a full-blown panic begging for help. After hours of agony, the silver masterpiece emerged. My daughter wanted no part in this. She screamed bloody murder until it came, and stayed off.
I'm done with the prize-winning costumes, gluten-free cupcakes, goodie bags for friends chocked with pesticide-free apples, nut-free snacks, and positive affirmation stickers.
Here's how I think we should give our kids a good-ol'-fashioned 1980's Halloween this year:
1. Make your own costume. There will be no Pinterest-perusing or trips to Party City. Find junk from the basement. An old sheet with eyes cut out is fastest. While you're looking, grab a pillowcase for your candy. I thought it wise to save the eight bucks for the plastic pink pumpkin. We best start saving for college. It's $50,000 a year now. That's a lot of pink pumpkins.
2. Go trick or treating with your friends. This year, I refuse to drive you to every last party and parade. You can walk the neighborhood, knock on doors, look your neighbors in the eye and, yes, actually talk to them. Leave your phone at home, I won't be worried if I haven't heard from you in ten minutes. Here's a disposable flashlight. If you lose it, I won't buy you another one. You can skip your three hours of homework tonight and just have fun. Listen for my loud yell if it's getting too late. Come back when you're tired. If you're not back in time to watch the Charlie Brown special, you can wait until next year for it to come on.
3. Eat everything you want. There will be no pre-party for your friends this year with nitrite-free monster shaped burgers served on gluten-free buns with artisanal ketchup and organic carrots. Let's start the night right. Tuna casserole and Kool-Aid, loaded with more sodium and red-dye in one night than you've had in your lifetime. Bounce off the walls and run down the streets yelling. When you come home, help yourself to some pie. The apples won't be pesticide free, and there will be plenty of white sugar, dairy, and soy involved. Yes, you can take a big bite out of the red candy apple that Mrs. Sharples lovingly made. No, the plastic it's wrapped in is not BPA-free, but you'll be okay. If you're braces break, we won't panic and run to the orthodontist. Dad will triage it with the pliers until later. If you're still hungry, there are plenty of devil dogs and Twinkies in the cupboard.
Tomorrow you will still wake up under your allergen-free comforter, in your organic cotton pajamas. The red stains on your face and sugar hangover will be a sign of your time travel back to the eighties. It's 2015 again. Your gluten-free waffles and cold pressed juice will be waiting. I'll drive you to school, you'll sit in your heated seat, and we'll process every last inch of it all. Your friends, therapists and teachers will never believe the fun you had, and that you survived a good ol'-fashioned 1980's Halloween.