Sunday, March 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

What you need to know about 6-foot trick-or-treaters

MarionFranckW

By
From page A19 | October 27, 2013 |

I thought it was all about big boys, who should have known better, shaking me down for candy. They’d arrive in clumps, shout “trick or treat,” and shove undecorated brown paper bags in my direction. It didn’t feel right.

Then again, some things don’t make sense until you’ve lived them with your own child– and not a moment sooner.

The tale I tell today is from the year 2000, Halloween day. My 15-year-old son, a sophomore at Davis High School, comes home and says, “Mom, I have an idea.”

Then he pauses. “No, forget it.”

“Aw, come on, tell me.” My hands assume a begging position, like a squirrel hoping for a nut.

“Maybe I’ll invite some friends over this evening,” he says.

Like every mom of a young male, I’ve worried about his social skills, so this sounds good to me. I tell him “yes” but I also ask him to carve pumpkins with me before his friends show up. Never before have we carved pumpkins without his sister, who has just gone off to college. This is the third-to-last time I’ll get to do it with him.

I spread newspaper on the table and choose the smaller pumpkin for myself.

“Hey, I’ve got a thin-skinned one this year, easy for carving,” he announces, hefting the larger pumpkin lightly from hand to hand.

“Maybe you just got stronger,” I say.

After we finish the job and set up our two pumpkins by the window, he’s on the phone, then off the phone, then on again until he walks in and announces that he needs candy for his friends.

“How many friends?”

“I don’t know. Three. Or two. Or five.”

I make a quick run to the market. These boys are too big now to go house to house trick-or-treating, so I want to buy a hefty consolation prize. I choose big Milky Way bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (large size) and a bag of M&M’s.

————

At 7:15, guys start showing up. One is half in costume, the rest in school clothes. Like 15-year-olds everywhere, they come in a range of sizes. One boy is 6’2” and speaks in a deep bass. Another is only 5’4” but loud. The house reverberates with sound.

Even though my son knows I bought candy, I hear him say, “Wanna go out for a while and trick or treat?”

I immediately remember other Halloweens when I was acutely annoyed by large packs of teens, most without costumes, who showed up late at my door and growled in bass voices, “Trick or treat.” They hadn’t done their part — dressing up — but I still had to do mine.

I want to protest to my son, but things are moving too fast for me to get a word in. The boys are running in and out of my son’s room grabbing possible outfits (an old cape, a flowered shirt, a skeleton mask) and my husband is poking around in the garage looking for the sickle he made a couple of years ago when my son dressed up as “Death.”

One boy emerges in a too-small fishing hat and asks for a rod. In my daughter’s room, I find a witch’s hat, complete with glued-on grey hair. The big guy claims it.

In five minutes flat, everyone is partially in costume and heading down the sidewalk. I hear their deep voices as they laugh. I cross my fingers that the neighbors will understand.

————

That night I was reminded that parents are not the only ones who regret the passing years. A year earlier, for the first time, my son gave out candy instead of trick or treating. It was an OK experience, but not worth repeating. It’s much more fun to go trick-or-treating with a bunch of guys and if the neighbors are grumpy, it’s easier to laugh things off when you’re in a crowd.

So here’s what I can pass on, if you don’t have your own 15-year-old boy.

When a crowd of under-costumed teens shows up on your doorstep, welcome them. It’s a big group because they find strength in numbers. They’re not wearing costumes because they didn’t realize that they’d want to go–nor how badly.

Give them big bars. Don’t tell them they’re too old. They already know that.

Let them pretend it just isn’t so.

— Marion Franck lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at [email protected]

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Child abduction case in jury’s hands

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    MU Games closing in late March

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Still no parole in toddler case

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offers wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Young patients bond with special stuffies

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Radio talk show moves to Mondays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Assault awareness campaign kicks off

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Milt Priggee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Rowing: PE as well as life skills

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Police complaint procedures drafted

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Clarifying energy update letter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Weekly claw pickup necessary

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    City may get charged up over energy choices

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Design innovation centers for the 21st century

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

     
    A new perspective on life

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

    Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8