November 1, 2008

Finding Halloween

We had a great Halloween this year with Lucian. He only ate one little lollypop despite the huge "facebucket" of candy he collected. (He carried a little orange jack-o-lantern bucket and because it has a smiley face on it, he called it a facebucket. Sounds like some new social media application, doesn't it?) Aside from a few pieces of chocolate (I'm only human) we'll be donating the rest to Mr. Davis' science class for, um, science, yeah, that's what we'll call it.

Instead of going to the mall or trick-or-treating door to door, we went to something called Trunk 'O Treats which was held at the
Picture Rocks Community Center. Several families volunteered to dress up their vehicles stocked with goodies (as well as themselves) to line the perimeter of the parking lot. Picture Rocks Fire Dept., Trico Electric, the A&W Great Root Bear, C4PR and Arizona Youth Partnership were there to support the event. There was a decorated Sheriff's car where a male and female officer handed out badges and coloring books.

Our favorite part was the Picture Rocks Fire Department's firetruck. Lucian and all the other youngsters got to climb up and tour the firetruck. We had to pry Lucian out of it. He really loved sitting inside of it. No surprise as his Great-Grandfather was a Fire Chief once upon a time. (I just know my Grandpop was smiling down on us from Heaven that night with pride. If only he could have met Lucian. I really miss you Grandpop.) The firefighters were so awesome and entertaining. They were always willing to answer any questions. Lucian really loved inspecting a fireman's hat. He couldn't get enough of the flashlight attached to it.

Inside the building they had face painting and coloring supplies for the little ones.
There were also drinks, stickers and cookies for everyone. There were about 10 vehicles all decked out with some amazing decorations, music and special effects like a smoke machine. Everyone was dressed in costume and all the kids were adorable and pleasant.

We met up with some new friends and their two little boys as well as some other parents and their children. It was nice because everyone knew someone there and it felt like a very safe and secure environment. Lucian and his new little buddy held hands as we walked around visiting the different families at their cars. We brought our own bag of goodies and helped replenish a someone else's stock so we could feel like we too were sharing.

After that event, we headed over to Oma and Opa's house to Trick-or-Treat with them and they were very much delighted to spend the holiday for the first time in person with their grandson. Oma took Nemo by his little fin and walked him to a couple of doors around the block to say hello to their new neighbors and show off their little pride and joy. Daddy and I took the opportunity to teach Lucian a lesson in saying thank you and having patience while people answer the door.

I always have mixed feelings about Halloween because it's not the way I remember it and I'm still not certain about what I want my son to experience. I really don't like the idea of kids consuming so much candy. I don't mind the idea of the tradition and celebrating it, but I don't see why it has to be all about candy and unhealthy snacks. When I purchased treats this year, I got pencils, playdoh, bubbles, etc. I didn't go wild on the candy because we never get enough kids to hand it out to and then it sits in our house for us to deal with.

I just re-read my post on this from last year and I still feel the same way

I wonder what you think about Halloween and how do you explain it to your kids?

I don't know. Maybe I'm the mean mommy and things will change as Lucian gets older and starts hanging with his friends. I don't care for the kind of mixed messages kids get when it comes to this event so that's why I was grateful for the opportunity to go to the Trunk 'O Treats event where Lucian got to meet Police Officers and Firemen. It gave me a chance to start introducing him to these services as part of a broader family emergency plan. Part of an emergency plan is preparing your child by introducing them to things like the sounds and lights of police cars, ambulances and firetrucks and also the people who provide these services so a child knows what the uniforms look like and who they can go to for safety. I got the idea from the Sesame Workshop. This is one treat I hope you'll check out. There are great links on the right side of the site where you can download printable PDFs of some important information to keep handy. There are also tools to help you communicate these concepts with your child. I really like the page that has the large phone keypad on it. I think it's a great tool to help a young child learn his/her phone number. If you click here it will download the PDF so you can see an example of what I mean. (Tip: I had to physically rename the file to add the dot pdf extension on it so my computer would open it.)

From our family to yours, we hope you had a very Happy and safe Halloween!