Remembering Halloween from the Empty Nest

When the little gremlins and goblins come to our house tonight trick or treating it will back memories for me of Halloweens past.  Our twin sons are off at college in their freshmen years and are doing very well.  But when they were younger, I had an active role on Halloween night.

Mom always worked with our twins in the month of October to pick just the right costume for each.  I didn’t have too much to do with that.  The boys eagerly would look forward to Halloween night, mapping out plans for all the houses they would visit.  That’s where I came in.  My job was to escort Andrew and Josh around the neighborhood while Mom stayed home giving out candy to other kids.

For some reason Halloween never seemed to turn out quite like the boys had planned.  We would often get an unseasonal cold spell in late October.  I remember one Halloween night going out with the boys with the temperatures in the teens!  Their enthusiasm for collecting candy quickly ended that evening after only a few houses – the cold weather got the best of them.

I remember the boys first Halloween at 21 months of age.  They were cute just having learned to talk earlier that year. We trained them to go up to the neighbors’ homes and say “trick or treat!”.  When the big night came, Josh went up to the first house, opened his bag, suddenly got a look of fear on his face, and said to our neighbor, “Put Candy In There!!!!”

This video, the following year at age 2, shows another Halloween that didn’t get off to a good start:

The boys and I continued our Halloween tradition all the way through 9th grade.  At age 15 they were independent enough to go out on Halloween night by themselves, but when they asked for me to accompany them I happily agreed.  “This would be my last chance at Halloween night memories!”, I thought.  Their friend Jeff came along as the Grim Reaper.  Jeff was taller than me – he really did look like the Grim Reaper!

Fast forward to 2012.  Our boys are well adjusted college freshmen – each at their own campus 600 miles apart.  We visited both on two separate trips in the past month and we were pleased to see them doing so well.  We had done our job as parents – raising two smart, sociable sons who had no trouble with the often difficult transition to the freshman year away from home.  Tonight as the kids come to our door we’ll remember those little boys we had so much fun with on those Halloween nights years ago.  We miss them.

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