when trickers become treaters



I thought my level of stress about the kids would decrease as they got older.


Silly me.


Little did I know that stress is like matter.  It never goes away.  It just moves through different states …


Solid. Liquid. Gas.


When the kids were still little and new, I stressed about everything.  About them getting hurt.  About how we needed more locks on our doors … and why, for that matter, do we have a French door as our front door?  And our back door too …


More often than not I couldn’t watch Oprah because her show was about child abductions or child abuses or starving third-world children …


… and those stories not only broke my heart, but fanned the flames of my stress.


During that time my stress was solid.  Omnipresent.  Top of mind every minute of every day.


As my kids grow older and more independent my stress is transforming  …


liquefying …


… as I wait impatiently for my son to return home from school.  And freak out when he fails to answer my cell phones calls and texts.


I can’t even think about him heading off to college in just 2 1/2 years without lapsing into a full-on panic attack.  My daughter tries to introduce the subject on our walks to/from school but I have to shut her down.


And a whole new state of stress kicked in after reading this post from one of my favorite bloggers the other day.  You see, she fessed up that she bought her kids not one but two costumes this year because she’s already worried about the time when they no longer want to dress up.




That one hit me hard.  Because this is the first year my son doesn’t want to dress up.


That makes me sad.




On the plus side, he really does look forward to handing out candy to the next generation of trick & treaters …



P.S.  After I wrote this post, my son starting asking if we had an extra sheet. Turns out, when he hands out the treats he’d like to be dressed like Charlie Brown’s ghost Halloween costume.  Complete with a bucket of rocks …

P.P.S.  Just wanted to let my friends, family, and readers on the East Coast know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

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  1. Jenny Ballard says

    I’m sorry to tell you it gets worse……when they are at the age when you can only offer advise when asked and then sit back and worry when they make choices you know are going to end in disaster. As they say that’s life.

  2. says

    So funny — I remember that feeling of sadness and then I got over it in a hurry! Now, my teens answer the door when I get tired of it (all the cutie pies are in the early batches of trick or treaters anyway!) and I can sit with a glass of wine and watch HGTV or read blogs or something.
    You’ll be okay… I promise. :-)
    xo Heidi

  3. deb says

    You NEVER stop thinking, worrying, stressing about your kids, but I’ve finally learned to “trust”. Trust that you’ve raised them well, they’re intelligent, caring children/young adults/new parents and with a little (lot) of luck, they’ll be OK. My oldest has my first g-son (not quite 2) in another state, my middle is teaching English in China (her second year there), which totally freaked me out, but it was her wish, so….”trust”. My youngest (26, living in another state) likes to rock climb. He went to China to visit his sister and was rock climbing there – jeez…”trust”. It helps, but it sure ain’t easy!! My husband always, “you gotta believe”… And pray 😉

  4. says

    Oh Linda, I know all too well what you’re writing about here. I think I stressed more when they were little, but now I stress harder. The worries are so much bigger, and the issues that come up so much harder to solve. Miss the days when a kiss could heal most boo-boos.

    Love your pictures. And this is the first year we don’t have anyone going out trick-or-treating, too. Insert wistful sigh.

  5. says

    I was so bummed the first time my mom made me stay home for Halloween, but I’m looking forward to Jesse and I passing out candy together in our first house this year! Plus I get to stay in and watch the Peanut’s Great Pumpkin special! 😉

  6. says

    My kids are still little and pretty new- I can even still get the new-baby smell from the youngest, but we passed the milestone last year of no more family costumes, they each chose their own now. Well, not the baby, but the big ones chose for her:) They were also decidedly unhappy with my husband’s Jack Abramoff costume this year, I think it was a *bit* over their heads:)

  7. says

    Oh my goodness. I loved this post. I am still in the beginning phases of worrying. I am so glad, in the end, you son wanted to dress up like the Charlie Brown ghost. How sweet he was so excited to give out Halloween candy. You have obviously raised a great kid. Try and worry less, you’ve done a good job.

  8. says

    Moose refused trick-or-treating this year. He refused his costume. He’s 5, and I tried hard not to compare him to kids without autism, but when you are in the city with 100s of kids laughing and playing and racing for candy and your kid is just not getting it…

    It hurts. I guess my point is, even in those “wonder years” some of us don’t get the charm either. I’m hoping my stress is solid now, and eventually turns to gas…love that analogy.

    But it was Monkey’s first year at age 3 of really “getting it”. And he was darling, even thanking everyone for his candy.

    Sounds like we need that glass of wine at SITS this weekend, eh?

  9. says

    I won’t even offer up my observations on stress, worry and the kids growing up, but I will say this was our first year without a trick or treater. It took 30 years, that’s how old the oldest is, to trickle down.


  10. Carol Ann says

    I feel your pain. As I sat in the auditorium listening to the speaker at my “baby’s” high school graduation, I kept thinking why is this guy speaking to the kids? They are 18 years old…they are not listening! I wanted him to speak to me! How was I going to live without a child in the house? What was I going to do with all that spare time? My suggestion to graduation speakers: talk to the parents…they need the encouragement more than the teenagers!

  11. says

    Awww. :( It is so hard and weird being a parent! But the fact that he’s growing and changing and forcing your stress and worries to change form is just proof that you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to do as a mom. And proof that there’s so much goodness to come. Friendship instead of parenthood: there’s beauty in that. (P.S. I was hoping this parental worry would be ending soon? Sounds like I should give up hope on that!) I hope you had a beautiful halloween!

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