Halloween was yesterday and I took my six year old out to one of the large, wealthier neighborhoods. No one trick or treats on my street. It’s dark and riddled with construction. Anyway, this year the cherished candy lollapalooza occurred on a weekday, a Monday, a school night, so candy acquisition had to be done early and fast so that littler ones can get to bed. So, we set off. Her in her fuzzy cat costume and blue pumpkin bucket and me, still a little unsure about whether or not we were too early. As we moved further down the lane, we begin to hear other children and the tell tale shrieks of joy and sugar. Satisfied, we soldiered on and eventually ran into a miniature Kylo Ren and his father, hitting up the same houses that we were. As the two kids began to talk, our two small groups merged to continue this trick or treating journey. And it went well. The father of Kylo and myself introduced ourselves, shook hands, and talked leisurely about Halloween being on a school night and having to get all that we could before it was time for bed.
As we approached the end of the lane, we could see far more children, parents and decorations, as one home in particular was putting the finishing touches on a haunted house run out of the garage. As we continued forward, a little guy dressed like someone from Halo approaches the children and asks them if they want candy. Of course, they say yes and they follow him to his front door, where they are halted by the little Halo guy’s father. Within moments, he is asking if they can go trick or treating with us and dad says yes.
Here is where it gets interesting to me. Halo guy’s father walks up to Kylo’s father and introduces himself, and they shake hands. Now, when Halo guy’s father briefly locks eyes with me, I consider introducing myself, but upon viewing my immediate dismissal by him, I decided against it. From that point forward, it was as if I did not exist. The two dads fell few steps behind discussing their lives, their families, their separations, dating, and the important messages found in church, along with having the ability to go on sabbatical from one of their jobs. All the while, rather than make an ass of myself trying to talk to them, I continued in what I was there for; keeping my kid safe while she has fun trick or treating; reminding her not to walk through anyone’s grass or to not go to homes where the lights were not on. By the end, I am telling my child and their children, which homes they have already been to and how far we are going before we turn and go back.
In the end the two boys were too scared to go to the haunted house once it was operational. By that point, Kylo’s father called me by name, and announced it was nice to meet me, and which point, I did the same, while Halo guy’s father continued on back towards his own house, as if I did not exist and had not been looking out for his kid.
My girl, of course, was ready to step into the haunted house and though brief, we had fun laughing and screaming and being scared. She had no idea, just as little Kylo Ren and Halo Guy had no idea of the putrid air of xenophobia that had been swirling around the entire encounter. The children saw no differences, and I’m glad that they didn’t. But I ask you my fair and intelligent readers, what was the main difference between these two dads and me??
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