The question arose last night: should you give Halloween candy to a child who comes to your door with real actual growing facial hair and stands over 6'? What is Halloween etiquette here? My answer was that yeah, I would still toss him a Snickers but I would roll my eyes pretty heavily. The rolleyes would convey to him that he should at this point probably have a job and buy his own giant bag of Fun-Size Snickers. But then I think, ah, it is really no big deal. Keep trick-or-treating, you lummox.

When I was growing up it was terribly uncool to trick-or-treat past the age of 12, 13 tops. It was definitely considered a little kids' activity. I remember my 13th Halloween, and kind of feeling at a loss of what to do. I still wanted to have a cool costume and get candy, but that was not going to happen. I ended up hanging out with the other lost teens that night, just walking around and being obnoxious, I suppose. I think we might've toilet-papered something, yes, but I never got into smashing pumpkins (yes, that is a musical pun). I still feel sad to see the pieces of orange scattered on the road the day after Halloween. It seems so mean.

My oldest son also stopped going out on Halloween at about 13. He then got the job of handing out the candy at the door while we took his little brother and sister for their candy run. He seemed to like that, and it made me smile to see him be so nice to the little ones who would come to the door. I think back to his first Halloween. I put him in an orange onesie and a teeny pumpkin hat, and took pictures of him looking all WHAAAAA? BOO!, kid! HA HA. It probably isn't nice to use a flash on an 11-day-old infant, really. My bad.

When he was three, we had a lovely young nanny named Sherry, who came in enough hours per week so that I could attempt to finally finish college. That Halloween, she offered to make him a costume. I was thrilled to accept her kind offer on his behalf. My all-time favorite costume was a cheetah outfit my mom had sewed for me, so this was all nostalgic and very sweet to relive. And like I would ever be able to sew anything for him anyway (see post "SEW"). She took him out one afternoon and they went to the fabric store, and bought some dark brown fake fur and some pale yellow satin for lining. And thus The Bear Costume came into being, now an item of family legend. It was as cute as could be, all fuzzy wuzzy and puffy and warm to wear in the chill of late-October Colorado. All three children now have worn The Bear Costume, each for multiple years. But the last wearing has occurred -- at 6, my daughter is now just a little too big for it this year. So it will be retired and saved for a grandchild to wear someday, which is both a comforting and mind-blowing thought. I hope The Bear Costume remains packed up for at least another 15 years or so.

So, however old you are, if you come to my door tomorrow, I will give you candy because I like Halloween, and I like costumes, and I like fun. Just don't smash my pumpkin, you little bastards.