Monday, November 01, 2010


We just turned off the outside light and declared trick or treat closed, due to depletion of treats.  We had a lot of children, many of whom I recognized from the neighborhood, including one or two who haven't really perfected their lines and just stand and gawk at you until you give them candy.  I was pleased to see so many little guys, but noticed that they were all accompanied by adults.

Due to the (unfounded) rumors of poisoned Halloween candy, people are reluctant to let their children out at night these days.  When my kids were little they used to roam freely on Halloween and bring home enough treats to make a family of ten sick for a week, but nowadays kids are not free range; they have playdates.

Instead of being a children's holiday it has been adopted by adults, who  make a fuss about dressing up in costumes and going to parties.  To my mind, they are faintly ridiculous.

When I was a kid children were encouraged, if not hounded, to go out of doors in all weathers.  There was a rumor that fresh air was good for them, but the real reason was so that parents could read the paper, do housework, smoke cigarettes and  have a little peace and quiet.  How do parents stand having them underfoot all the time?


paul mitchell said...

I was encouraged to stay outside, just as you were. Trust me, I encourage the twelve year old that lives with me to do the same, with a locked deadbolt behind him and no house key in his pocket.

airforcewife said...

It drives me crazy, but on the other hand we just got a notice of a sex offender a bit away. So... yeah. No unaccompanied kids from my house.

Part of the problem I see in letting kids out by themselves nowadays is that they are no longer taught to protect themselves as a group, and also because more families have transient lifestyles there isn't the sense of community in a neighborhood there was when I was growing up.

When I was little, we didn't come home until dusk, ever. And if we were doing something wrong, one of the neighbors would see us and tell on us. In fact, it was okay for any adult in the neighborhood to lay down a punishment.

Now, adults disregard what other people's kids are doing, because either they don't think it's their problem, or they don't want to deal with the hassle that of an irate parent who doesn't want to accept the fact that their child did something wrong. Unfortunately, it's created the problem of ever-present parents. And also ill-behaved children that are doted upon.

We didn't have this issue when we lived on a military base. Then, we let our kids run wherever. I truly miss it. REALLY.

miriam said...

Afw: You make some good points. But I remember such good times riding my two-wheeler around the neighborhood for hours and hours. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

There were no kids at my door TT-ing, and very few outside: I live in a muslim-occupied territory.