Kids don’t know how good they have it

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kids nowadays have it so good. I mean, they have it so good they don’t even know how good they have it.

Case in point – Halloween.

Growing up in Red Oak, it took half an hour to make the collective rounds to the four houses in our community. It was nothing like today’s Halloween festivities.

When I got married, we bought a house in Lockhart – a town famous for roping off its streets on Halloween to lessen the chance of an accident.

Back then, people in Lockhart took Halloween very seriously. Spider webs hung from trees. One year, the people up the street concocted a real-life terror experience with hockey masks and chainsaws, the whole nine yards. It was awesome. And that’s saying something coming from a person who hates to be scared.

Throughout the years, I’ve gone trick or treating at other spots around and about, but the first time I attended the Halloween on the Square event in Andalusia, I nearly lost my mind. One, because of the shear number of people, and two, because of the shear number of candy pieces handed out.

I’ve never seen so much candy in all my life. I never got that much candy growing up. Without a doubt, I never handed out that much candy in one night in all my married life.

I went back through my Star-News archives to see if I could come across a number of candy pieces given out on that night. In 2010, we reported, “It’s no ‘trick’ that there will be more than 500,000 ‘treats’ distributed … and (in 2009), more than 5,000 people attended the event.”

Mercy. That’s a lot of kids all cracked out on candy – mine included.

And like at all crowd-filled activities, parents should keep a close eye not only on their children, but also on their candy bags.

Here are some thoughts you might not have considered, and apply them, if you will, to the upcoming festivities:

• Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping and entanglement. Add a special something to it so that you can identify your child in the throng;

• If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. We all know what can happen with those;

• Caution your child about straying from your side as you make your way around the square. It’s easy to get separated in a large crowd. In the event you are separated, make sure your child knows to find the nearest policeman. For those with younger children, I would suggest attaching a slip with your name and cell phone number to the inside of your child’s trick or treat bag; and,

• Remember – have fun, but be safe.