To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a fan of Halloween. I have never liked horror movies; I don’t see the point in feeding kids a TON of candy that was given to them by strangers; I prefer fluffy kittens and harvest decorations to scary carved pumpkins and blood dripping from someone’s jaw. But I could deal with it, tune it out and go on with my life. It’s not so easy to do that now.
You see, now I have a three-year old son who has such a sensitive imagination that he has a frequently recurring nightmare of a giant red M&M who is coming to eat him. I have a two-year old daughter who is terrified of every tiny bug that manages to squeeze into the house. They have these fears despite the fact that their media and social environments are carefully and intentionally filtered by my husband and me. These fears of theirs have caused me to be even more alert to what their senses are being exposed. This is also due to the fact that their little brains truly are little sponges and virtually nothing escapes their attention. My son will recall to the minutest detail a story we read ONCE nearly two months ago! Would I then be naive enough to think that he will overlook a body swaying from a tree branch in a neighbor’s yard?
Truthfully, it baffles me that a society which lauds love and peace and decries hate and violence would go to such great lengths to celebrate blood, gore and darkness. Folks, this isn’t about fluffy black kittens, candles in pumpkins and playing dress-up. A simple stroll through your neighborhood or local Home Depot will reveal Grim Reapers wielding their scythes, vampires with glowing eyes and blood dripping from their teeth, howling ghosts and leering witches. These are all things from which our little ones, who gravitate towards bubbles, butterflies and rainbows, naturally shrink. And yet for this particular day we shove them towards death and tell them it’s OK?
From this mom’s perspective, a little playing of dress-up and indulging the sweet tooth is not worth the compromise to my children’s moral fiber that the body swaying in the tree would cause.