Monday, October 27, 2008

The Halloween Swap

When I was a kid, our Halloweens were intense. Seriously intense. My trick-or-treating years were spent in a neighborhood with blocks upon blocks upon blocks of houses, and so many kids, that you literally moved down the streets in one big blob.

My brother and I used pillowcases to hold our loot, and more than one Halloween had us going back home to drop off the first weighted pillowcase for a second empty one. And then, at the end of the night, we'd sit in the middle of the living room and dump all of our candy on the floor. That's when the swap would start.

We'd make happy little organized stacks of the candy: suckers in one pile, candy bars in another (of course, separated by specific type of candy bar), etc. When we were done, we'd each pull all the stuff we didn't like out and offer it to our parents. Lucky Mom and Dad! And then, my brother and I would begin the trade.

We each had our favorites, and by the time we were done haggling, he'd have most of his and I'd have most of mine. BUT then, we'd have count (I am serious) each and every piece of candy, to make sure we had the same amount. Sad, huh? Whoever had the least amount could take whatever they wanted from the other person's pile to even up the tally.

Usually, that would start another round of trading. After a while, if our disagreements reached a certain decibel, my mother would make the final trades and that would be that. And then, we were allowed to take these massive pillowcases stuffed with candy to our bedrooms--to eat when and how we wanted.

Can you imagine? I'm not such a cool mom. While my kids don't get nearly as much candy as my brother and I did back in the day, they still get a fair amount. And it's kept in their trick or treat containers (no pillowcases!) in the kitchen, so I can somewhat monitor their intake.

Even so, those Halloween nights so long ago have stayed in my memory. The cool, crisp evenings, the mob of kids, the trade offs with my brother, and then hiding my candy somewhere so he wouldn't sneak in and take any of it. Which, honestly, he probably wouldn't have--he was a pretty honest kid, but well--seeing as I'd sneak into HIS room to go through his stash every now and then, it made perfect sense to me that he'd do the same.

This week, we're carving pumpkins and readying costumes. And before I know it, it will be Friday evening, and I'll watch my kids do their thing...and I'll think about how much has time has passed, how many things have changed, and yet--how many things remain the same.

Happy Halloween! May this year you have all treats and no tricks!


Jillian Cantor said...

Great post, Tracy! You really capture the sibling rivalry here. I love it! This brings back memories of me and my sister who didn't swap our candy quite as nicely :-).

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

This is almost EXACTLY how our Halloweens went! And I keep my kids' candy in Longaberger baskets on top of the hutch in the dining room. Doesn't work so great now that Number One is 13 and can reach it with no problem, and is also often home alone so won't get caught right away. LOL

Maureen Lipinski said...

I'm pretty sure I just distracted my brother and then stole all of his candy.

Kind of like what I plan to do this year with my one-year-old.

Lesley Livingston said...

This reminds me SO much of my childhood!!

And makes my teeth ache a little just thinking about it...

Tracy Madison said...

Jillian: Well, it wasn't always that nice, lol.

Natalie: LOL, I don't limit any candy the older kids get now...but the younger ones I monitor closely.

Maureen: Ha, ha! I was the same way with my brother. Poor kid.

Lesley: I know, all that chocolate we used to consume, it's scary. Though...well, I've done a fair share of that while finishing my little aching of the teeth here!