Monday, November 1, 2010

The Great Candy Barter

Halloween comes around at the perfect time of year. It lets kids blow off the pressures involved with the beginning of the school year and just enjoy themselves. For my family it has become a tradition to drive into the Manhattan and see all our old friends from the neighborhood and spend Halloween with them. It also allows our son to see his old pals and catch up. The kids and the parents meet at the Halloween carnival, the kids run around and play games while the parents gather together and update each other since the last time. The kids start with a core group of three; my son, and another boy and a girl, all close friends since they were infants. Those kids meet up with other friends and before you know it the group is five to six kids. Since the kids are in the Fifth grade, its easier for them to run around without much supervision and more relaxing on the parents. "Oh so-in-so got so big" and "The kids are growing up so fast." are some of the comments you hear as the kids make an appearance between fun stations. After the carnival, we head up 18th Street and visit a few scary brownstones then to our friend's apartment for drinks, food and trick or treating. The group seems to be larger than in the past and appears unbalanced, consisting of three boys and six girls, but without a doubt, all great friends.

After a couple of haunted houses and racing from floor to floor gathering mounds of neatly wrapped nuggets, we enter our friend's apartment for some soup, sandwiches and drinks. The kids on the other hand have a tradition of their own, it's now time for the Great Candy Barter. In a single file line, the kids head into the bedroom to stake their position on the floor and prepare to trade. In the past, some of the kids prepare for weeks, strategizing on the two-for-one options and taste testing candy in order to make good choices. The parents remain in the outer rooms, chatting and drinking, enjoying a chance to be adults. Once the trading session is over, the kids usually play games, put on a dance show or some other silly skit. This year seems a little different as the kids are preteens and the chatter is more about school, fads and other trends. At one point all the parents noticed that the door was closed, prompting me to ask "Should that door be closed?" Most of the parents gave me an innocent "What do you mean, they are only ten?", but the door was immediately opened and no fun was lost. "There will be plenty of time for worrying about closed doors later" one mother said jokingly, but the kids did not skip a beat, giggling, playing games, trading candy, and enjoying another Halloween.

As the night came to a close, the parents said their goodbyes and the kids lined up by the bathroom. The parents are wondering what is going on when it hits us, they are each weighing their bags on the scale to figure out who has the most candy. Kids will be kids...


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.