Halloween is sweet and not just because of the candy.
For Halloween this year I went out as a grandmother trailing behind six-year-old Chloe, who was dressed as a cheerleader. Chloe was excited as she ran slightly ahead of us, amazed and delighted that her knock opened doors and brought her treats.
Chloe, her mother and I were walking right in the middle of the street toward the next brightly lit house when Chloe turned and said, “People are so gen-er-ous.” I was amazed. A six-year-old and a three syllable word. (Just the other day during my first TV interview, I had stumbled over a three syllable word I should have omitted!) I smiled and looked at my daughter who said, “She just learned that word. She asked me the other day what it means.”
As we traveled through the early evening darkness, Chloe continued to run ahead, stopping only when a porch or a landscape was particularly ghostly or ghoulish. Chloe’s knock was always answered by smiling people, men and women, young and old – people we almost never see except when they run from their front doors to their cars standing in their driveways. One elderly man we had never seen before, stopped us dead in our tracks as he asked - in a kindly way - if my daughter’s older daughter had graduated from high school earlier this year. “I see she’s got herself a jazzy new car,” he added.
As we progressed through the neighborhood we saw ghosts and goblins, witches and Frankensteins, superheroes and sluggish cats. At one house where no one was home, a light on their front porch lit up a bowlful of candy from which when you reached in, a hand popped up and grabbed your own. “Did you see Jesus?” one neighbor asked. “No, really,” she said. “A boy dressed as Jesus was just here.” (We caught up with him later.)
But mostly what we saw were people opening up their doors and their hearts to delight the children – something none of them had to do. Yes, Chloe, people are indeed generous, even the ones who do it ghoulishly.