The calendar pages are continuing to tear off and we are nearing one of the favorite holidays of my seven-year-old best friends: Halloween!
When Young Son was that age, we were having some Halloween problems at my house. We had kind of taken a Halloween Moratorium for a few years because of some issues of the early '90s. Or of my fundamentalist first husband. The lines blur.
Anywho: we hadn't celebrated this end-of-October holiday for a few years, and we found ourselves standing in a store surrounded by costumes. Young Son was fixated on a huge plastic club. He turned to me and said, in his best lawyer-in-training voice, "All I want to do is dress up like Fred Flintstone for Halloween, carry a big club and get lots of candy. What's not Jesus-y about that?" Well, nothing I guess, since our Christmas card that year was a joy filled photo of Fred and his loyal sidekick, Wilma (aka now-Married Daughter) with big sacks of Halloween candy. And a good time was had by all.
The pendulum, for me, has swung back to the innocence of trick-or-treating. through the eyes of second graders. Until I walked through the children's book section at Barnes and Noble recently. Here's what I saw:
I have to admit that I laughed. Loudly. The characters of books that taught me how to read in the 1960s have apparently evolved. I flipped through the book and continued to chuckle because the book is just like the one of old, except for that pesky vampire.
Oh, look, look! What does Sally see? (A vampire under the bed, but no one believes her as it turns into a bat that flies away.) Oh, look, look! Run, Jane, Run. (From the vampire in the fort who is only seen by the children.) On some levels this book is VERY funny, but I'm not sure it should be in the children's section. I kept thinking about a nearsighted Grandmother buying it as a gift for her grandchildren, and missing the newest character and plot lines. Kind of like those monkeys chasing Dorothy, this could definitely make an impression on little minds in the formative years.
I've chilled out a bit about Halloween over the years, apparently. Enough so that Wilma grew up to be now-Married Daughter who dresses her poor dog like this for Halloween:
The crown of shame. (Run, Tex, Run! Your Nonnie would never make you wear that. Or read a book featuring Vampires lurking under your bed.)
The only bad thing about Halloween this year? It falls on a Sunday. Guess who gets to deal with the sugar high in a second grade classroom on Monday morning? Maybe I'll read that new book to them...
Kidding. I'll totally just give them more sugar to balance them out. Or beg for miniature Reese's and Almond Joys I know will be hidden in backpacks.
Who would deny that to a teacher carrying a big plastic club?