There are a couple of Halloween rules that I have and they have nothing to do with safety. Quite simply, my kids must go trick or treating in our own neighbourhood and they must go out together. Enforcing the rule has never been an issue – no one has ever expressed interest in sharing the night elsewhere or with other people. Sure, we meet up with friends on the street, but the team of siblings travel as a pack on this special night.
I had not really thought very much about why this was important to me until this Halloween. During the day, I met up with my sisters at our parents’ house with all the kids in costumes. We started sharing our antics of Halloweens past and it left the kids begging for more and more of our Halloween stories – some of which are downright legendary.
I am one of three sisters born inside of three years. Most people thought we were triplets and at one point growing up, my parents had a spare bedroom because the three of us insisted on sharing a room. We always went trick or treating together. Sometimes friends would join us, but they were joining us – the sisters.
As I walked the streets with my kids that night, I thought about how lucky I was to have people around me constantly reminding me of fun times and triggering great memories. I saw kids on the street trick or treating with a friend and wondered if, in 30 years, that friend would still be there laughing with them.
I suspect that for kids who don’t have siblings, that is what happens. Their friends play a greater role in the memory-making and perhaps they have closer relationships. My mom has often described how she always felt awful when another child came over to play when we were young because inevitably the three sisters would just play together. There was never an intention to exclude the other child; it just seemed to be something that happened.
My kids are forced to share so many things - their space, toys, food, clothes and pretty much everything else. Why not ensure they share memories as well? When I look at what I share with my siblings, I somehow think they’ll thank me.