This Post: Dear Teens, If You Want to Trick-Or-Treat This Halloween, My Porch Light Will Be On
My son was 15 at the time. He and his friends had talked about going trick-or-treating but they quickly tossed the idea aside. When I asked him what his reasoning was he said, “I mean, yeah… we kinda want to go, Mom, but we feel like we’re getting too old to go trick-or-treating.”
I looked at my boy and said, “Listen, baby… you’re 15 years old. Don’t let the world push you into growing up too quickly. Don’t feel like you can’t relish in your childhood for a few more years. And, don’t let these wonderful days slip by without enjoying them to the fullest. You have your entire life ahead of you to be a grownup – hold onto your childhood with a vice grip… it will be over in a blink.”
Dear Teens, If You Want to Trick-Or-Treat This Halloween, My Porch Light Will Be On
While every parent may not agree with me, I’m of the opinion that as long as teenagers dress up as “something” (even if it IS just a hat or a costume they threw together in five minutes) and act respectfully, they will always be welcome at my door on Halloween.
In fact, every Halloween around 9 pm, after the little ones have tired themselves out and their mamas are putting them to bed, my doorbell rings and I know it’s the teens in our neighborhood… and, I love it.
“Hey Mrs. R!” It’s me, Jason! Got any bubble gum? You ALWAYS have bubble gum!” (He’s right… I always save the bubble gum for my “later” crowd.) They’re sweet, respectful, funny as all get out and so chatty.
I love seeing their shining smiles. I love seeing them act like kids. I love seeing them walk away from the stress of “teenagering,” even if it is for only a few hours, to laugh and be goofy with their friends. Mostly, I love that they know they’re always welcome at my home.
So, parents, if your teenager wants to trick-or-treat this Halloween, tell them to come on by… my porch light WILL be on. Here’s why:
1. They’re Still Little on the Inside
Our girls might look like young women and our boys might tower over us and wear man-size 11 shoes, but they’re still little on the inside. They’re teetering clumsily between childhood and adulthood and they WANT to act like kids, but the world is telling them to grow up, act mature, take life seriously, and stop being so goofy.
Nope… as far as I’m concerned, I’m all for letting them linger in their childhood a little longer. Before they know it, they’ll be married with kids and have a mortgage and a minivan. Let’s let them slow down and JUST BE KIDS.
2. They’ve Chosen Trick-or-Treating Over Other Things They Could Be Doing
They could be out partying, causing trouble, or being mischievous. Instead, they’re dressing up like football players, cheerleaders, pirates, silly clowns, and Marvel characters holding a pillow case they took off their bedroom pillow and asking for a Snickers bar. For crying out loud… there are FAR worse things they could be doing.
3. Trick-or-Treating is Wholesome Fun
As parents of teens, we’re always worried about our kids – that they’ll choose the wrong path, cave into peer pressure, or get into trouble. Trick-or-treating is about as low-key and wholesome as you can get! It’s a fun way for our kids to hang out with their friends, make a few memories, and toss all their responsibilities aside for a few hours.
Instead of hunkering down doing five hours of homework or stressing over their latest college essay that’s due in a few weeks, they’re hitting the streets for a sugary treat – they need the break!
4. They’re on the Backside of Their Childhood
Big decisions and heavy responsibility are just around the bend for our kids. Which college they should attend? Should they actually go to college, take a gap year, or join the military? What should they major in? It’s all so overwhelming.
When the world is telling them to care about everything, they want to enjoy not caring about anything a little longer. Their childhood is quickly coming to a close and trick-or-treating gives them a chance to cling to those carefree days for a little while longer.
5. Traditions Are Important
Oh, the pictures I have of my kids on Halloween! Dozens? Hundreds? I love looking back and seeing how much my kids (and all their friends) loved dressing up, how excited they were when they dumped their Halloween buckets on the living room floor and saw they got three full-size Nestle chocolate bars, and how they sat together and traded candy with each other and, of course, left the pile of Taffy in the middle of the room ‘cuz really… who likes Taffy, anyway?
I’m not ready to say goodbye to these traditions just yet. When my teens want to dress up, it’s as much for me as it is for them.
6. As a Mom, I Love Seeing Teenagers Having Fun
When I drop my kids off at school, all I see are long faces – stressed out, not smiling, and agonizing over the next test they don’t feel prepared for. Seeing all the adorable teens show up at my door on Halloween smiling and laughing makes my heart sing. I know that deep down inside they’re apprehensive (and, in some cases, terrified) to take that next big step in life, and having a night to let it all go and just be silly is exactly what they need.
So, yep… dear teens, if you want to trick-or-treat this Halloween, come on by! Not only will my porch light be shining brightly, but I’ll be saving the BEST candy for you!