Halloween is upon us, and this year we're doing things a bit differently. We have yet to do any decorating, which is good and bad. Good, because I know I would quickly grow tired of trying to keep the toddler from going Godzilla all over Spooky Town (as appropriate as that might be to the season). Bad, because, well, I really really LIKE Spooky Town and our decorations.
Our annual Halloween Hoopla is still a go and we'll put up some spooky decor and pumpkins in honor of that occasion. I bought some treats for the goodie bags a month ago at Target, and that was just a stroke of brilliance and excellent planning on my part. Because now I don't have to rush around at the last minute to prep for the party. Remind me to do this every year.
It will be a fun party, and allow me to take a minute to thank our guests in advance for being willing to help their little ones keep the unsafe candy to eat at home. And thank you to anyone out there who is thinking about the kids with food allergies and is taking the time to find a way for them to participate in the Halloween festivities.
Halloween is a Big Exception to our usual rules. Every other day of the year, we keep Ryan AWAY from peanuts. On Halloween, we actually send him out of the house, looking for treats that are more likely than not to contain his deadly allergen.
We can do this because he and his siblings and friends follow the food rules at our Halloween party. No eating the trick-or-treat candy while you're out in the neighborhood. Eat only the treats we have available in our house. For my kids, they give up most of their candy in exchange for peanut-safe treats. For our guests, they leave the candy they collected in Mom's car and have to wait until later to eat any of it. And they get the unsafe candy my kids collected as sort of a consolation prize for being such good sports.
Why do we even go through the stress (and it is a bit stressful, I admit)? Because Halloween is fun! It's a fun tradition I've always loved. Dressing up in costumes, getting a little spooky, walking around with the other kids in the neighborhood, collecting candy and spider rings. It was a big event in my childhood, and it's a big event for my children.
I think we have found a way to allow Ryan to participate in this fun event while managing the risks involved in a reasonable way. Hosting the party gives us a certain measure of control over the food which helps us enjoy the event more. Setting reasonable limits that the parents and kids agree to follow as well as making the whole thing as fun as possible means that everyone can be safe and everyone can have a great time.
Yes, this is risky for him. But there are risks in life. I'd rather teach him how to have fun in a safe way than live his life afraid of risking anything. Halloween should be a little bit spooky, but not frightening in that sense.
And in case you're wondering what the kids are going to be this year: Ryan will be a Red Clone Trooper from Star Wars, Morgan is going to be Minnie Mouse, and Yoda Sean will be, hmmmmm. I haven't even thought about a costume for me, so I don't know if I'll be dressing up. I'll have to see if I can figure something out. I can always be Professor Sprout minus the mandrake, I guess!