I always knew I loved Halloween but I never really got why parents like it so much until Saturday. My daughter is three now and she’s finally old enough to do Halloween without being stupified the whole time wondering what the fuck is going on.


We set out at about 6:30 with a family friend named Cassidy in upstate New York. My daughter had been talking about this for a long time and told us weeks in advance she wanted her and her brother to be bats. We kept getting her psyched in the car on the way over but I had no idea how she’d react once she stepped into the fray.

As we approached the first real Trick or Treat of her life, I saw her recoil in horror at the witch who had all the candy. She told me she was scared and didn’t want to go. I said that was all right but this is Halloween and if you want candy, you have to go up to these people and say “Trick or Treat.” I could see her process this carrot-on-a-stick trick and decide the pros outweighed the cons. So, she walked very slowly towards the witch and said the quietest “Trick or Treat” anyone’s ever heard. The witch gave her a mini Kit Kat bar and an orange Tootsie Roll and my daughter went over to the next house with 25% more confidence. This doubled for the next one and by the third, she was at 100%. Seeing her and her friend confidently say “TRICK OR TREAT” and choose what candy they wanted was almost too much to bear. Her friend’s dad even said to me, with his thick Brooklyn accent, “When they do shit like this it makes you wanna cry.”

I’m almost bawling as I write this but in the car on the way back she goes, “I was real brave, dad.” This is why Halloween is important. It’s about overcoming fear. Cynics would argue the candy lure is a cheap trick but the point is, she not only overcame her fear, she embraced it. She was a bat doing business with witches and other monsters and casually smiling about it. She had a party in the center of her fear.

I always thought it was weird how Puerto Ricans take their kids to horror movies and laugh when they’re scared. They also bring them to those Halloween Haunted House tours that scare the living shit out of kids. That’s a bit rich for me but sheltering kids from fear is way worse. There’s a reason we have a wolf swallowing Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandmother and then getting his head chopped off by a good guy. That’s what life’s all about. Kids have to learn it’s going to be OK and they can conquer unjustified fears. It’s not the fact that there’s ogres in their nightmares or monsters in the closet. Those will always be there and they should be there. The important thing is how they deal with them – and on Halloween at least, they are victorious.



  1. Ty Hardaway Says:

    That’s beautiful, G.

  2. miss universe Says:

    Rousseau said you should dip your kids in the river styx, like Thetis, so they’ll grow up tough.

  3. Alex Says:

    oh man, that’s the single day of the year that gets me SUPER to start squeezing out some kids!! yay for halloween!!

  4. The Birthday Loot Grab Extravaganza « Mydadhomies Says:

    […] Halloween – This holiday is officially approved sanctioned by the American Dental Association.  When did Easter become the new Christmas with lights and decorations and gifts?  When did goody bags start appearing at Halloween? […]

  5. bob ahmed Says:


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