October 31, 2013: Treatin' with Jack

Two nerds
I know I have said this before, but I need to say it again. I love Halloween. I love everything about it; fall, the colors, the Pumpkin Patch, the anticipation of trick-or-treating. I can't wait until Labor Day has passed and I can put up my Halloween decorations.

As the boys have grown older, I've wondered what I would do with myself on this coveted night. Although Grant still goes out on Halloween, his festivities rarely involve me. Well, at least by his invitation. I now invite myself.

I have found out that I am not the only adult who looks for an excuse to trick-or-treat. My friend, Laurie, shares this passion. Don't judge. We will go with the line that we are truly kids at heart.

Last year, Brian joined the fun as we three adults ran with the kids, like the kids. We giggled as we went through the homemade haunted houses and shared the childhood exuberance that is unique to Halloween night.

This year my timeline was a bit tighter which restricted our shenanigans. But all it took was trick-or-treating with Jack to make the night just as special.

Jack is special in many, many ways. Everyone needs a Jack in their life. His life is simple and very literal. No sugar coating or playing games. Just straight talk; both in what he loves and what he doesn't.

He doesn't like scary. At all. And he loves his mama. So when asked to join Laurie and Jack for an early run around the neighborhood before it got dark, I said "Absolutely".

Jack: "Mom, let's be the first ones out."

Read between the lines: Jack hates scary things and wants to be able to see and scope out the scary houses to avoid.

Laurie: "Jack, take a picture with Mrs. Lane/"

Jack: "Fine! <smiles reluctantly>. But hurry."

Read between the lines: Same sentiment as above. Why are we camera-happy moms delaying his plan??

Picture taken and moms happily follow a very cautious and selective house-picker, Jack. That morning he had shared with his mom that he was so happy that tomorrow was November so the scary stuff would be put away.

We went to Jack's selective houses; avoiding skeletons, vampires and loud noises. One calm house surprised us with a bowl of candy left on the steps including a note "Please take one". The honor system. Impressive.

Three house later, a homeowner had the same idea, but without the sign. As Jack stood by the bowl, it seemed to take him more time to gather his candy. Laurie asked the inevitable question.

"Jack, how many pieces of candy did you take?"

"I took two handfuls. There was no sign saying to take one."

Jack's literal interpretation. Laurie quickly explained that he needed put two handfuls back and take one. There needed to be some left for future trick-or-treaters. It then made perfect sense to him now. Bad signage.

Jack Halpenny, you make me smile. I can see us trick-or-treating together for many years to come. I really hate the scary stuff too.


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