A Halloween tradition: the dreaded candy check

 Today is November 1st. It seems we’ve survived yet another Halloween, so let’s talk about the aftermath of the biggest candy-fest of the year.

Little ones today are hung over from the wild candy rush; their shoes are on the wrong feet, their hair isn’t combed, and they cried all morning while getting ready for school. 

A teacher friend of mine told me that the day after Halloween is the absolute worst day to try to teach children anything. They are tired, cranky and still jacked up on sugar from twelve hours ago. Their parents are all too happy to send their little darlings to school today, because for a few hours, they’re someone else’s problem. There’s no learning happening on November 1st.

For the past two years, my husband and I have spent Halloween at our daughter’s house, handing out crinkly-wrapped confections to their neighbors’ kids while she and her husband take our granddaughters from house to house. We love it. Of course, our granddaughters are perfect, the cutest kids ever born, and we get to watch them spin up and out of control from a grandparent’s arm’s length on this special night. 

In fact, when the mania reaches fever pitch (about 15 minutes after trick-or-treating ends), we sweetly kiss all of them goodbye, tell them we love them, and go back to our quiet, peaceful home.

Last night, I had to smile as our son-in-law carefully picked through each girl’s bucket of candy. He was checking, of course, for any candies that looked as though they’d been tampered with. It’s a sad reality that we have to do this, but it’s the world we live in.

I was reminded of being a little girl myself, all decked out for Halloween in my shiny rayon costume and sweaty plastic mask. We’d run back home after trick-or-treating and dump our loot in the living room floor. We knew the drill. Mom and Dad had to check our haul for “dangerous” candies. And every year, the “dangerous” pile included the good chocolate candy only. 

Never any Dots or Twizzlers.


Still, we capitulated, because A) we had no choice, and B) there was always the chance that the chocolate was, indeed, tainted.

Here’s to the candy check, folks. It’s like virtual trick-or-treating for adults. We don’t even have to dress up and visit the neighbors.

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