Halloween has certainly changed for me over the years. Of course, as a child I dressed up and knocked on doors expecting candy rewards from strangers. Really, where did this come from? (Hmmm, fodder for another post another day. )
As a mom, I followed kids around to safeguard them from seriously I don't know what because its not like I could take anyone on or anything. I think it was more to see others all dressed up and ohhh and ahhh.
A friend of mine lives in a gated community making it perfect to contain the children in a singular neighborhood with boundaries not made by mom and therefore automatically acceptable by the children even while in character hopped up on sugar swarming in hordes in search of more sugar.
The group of children that we followed grew and grew over the years. Some years barely able to fit everyone in the picture. Time has changed that crowd. The past year the crowd has thinned. Our now high school and college age children don't need us to take them anywhere much less follow them. We don't buy them costumes although they may dress up for their own parties. if we are lucky they drop by to say hello and we still ohh and ahh over their creativity or chide them at their lack thereof.
This year the crowd was completely different. Not a child in the bunch. The original group of adults still got together, ordered the obligatory pizza and had a lovely time just being together. Did we need Halloween to do this? Not technically. We are the adults and could get together any time we want to but there is something about an occasion that made it more than OK for us to go out on a weeknight and gather with friends for a few hours. We ate, we told stories, we laughed, we caught up with each other a little with no kids in tow because the kids are all adults now. I called it Halloween Phase II. Maybe we can graduate to getting together the same way without a holiday or occasion to justify us. Friendship Phase II.