This Halloween Cookie dressed as a candy corn. Mom bought the costume thinking it was a princess, and I told her no, it was a witch (because it had a pointy hat). Only when I sent pictures of Cookie’s school Halloween party did someone text me back saying, “Oh, she’s a candy corn!”
Embarrassments aside, we went out trick or treating. Cookie, her godmother, Uncle R, and I. She was always one to get excited at the sight of so much candy, and would always grab the first one she saw, which was often the little tootsies or the sour ones she doesn’t eat. So tired of throwing candy away after hours of collecting them, I instructed her to get ones that she liked. When she said she liked all of them, I said “Well, then get the big ones,” which were chocolates and would most certainly be eaten in a matter of days. So there she went collecting her candy, until she turned to me (the street was full of little monsters and their moms) and yelled “Mana, is this big enough?”
I wanted to die. Every single mom looked at me condemning me for my shameful conduct of teaching my five-year-old sister to be greedy and selfish. Her godmother was glad to be wearing a monster mask. After a while she just said, “I can get whatever candy I want!” and considering it was the only night of the year when she could go to strangers’ houses asking for candy, I thought it was fair for her to pick and choose the ones she wanted—even if that meant throwing it all away later.
After our basket was full, the other adults wanted to go home. So I did what any responsible sister would do— we left the boring people at home and went back for more candy. We stopped only when Cookie herself gave up (and when she could no longer carry the basket).
As I discovered after disposing of all the candy (even the “big” ones), Halloween for Cookie (and for all kids I guess) isn’t about getting good candy, or even eating it. It’s about collecting it, about the fun of going from door to door as if it were a mission, having strangers comment on how nice her costume is. But most importantly, it’s about doing all those things with her loved adult (me!) and testing to see how far you can push her patience. I believe it’s about feeling loved.
At the end of our journey, I asked Cookie if she was happy with all the candy we’d collected. She answered, “Yeah, it was fun.” And that, simply put, is worth all the good candy in the world.