Bernstein: The Last Halloween

Kids grow up faster than you think.

Dan Bernstein
October 31, 2018 - 3:03 pm

(670 The Score) I need to enjoy tonight, because my daughter is a junior in high school who doesn't go trick-or-treating anymore and my son will be doing so for probably the last time, dressed as a pickle (I think it's a "Rick and Morty" reference) and filling a pillowcase with candy one more Halloween night before he's too cool for it.

My tradition of exacting a tithe will continue, as he will render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and those are fun-size Snickers, Milky Way, Butterfingers, 3 Musketeers, Twix, 100 Grand, Kit Kats and single Reese's cups. There will be many of them, and they will be chain-consumed -- the next wrapper is off during the chewing process. There will be a pile of paper on the counter and then there will be much brushing and flossing and sleep, and there will be no regret.

I will do this after a late dinner and will be thinking about it from now until then. I know I can walk over to CVS and buy whatever candy I want and eat as much as I want on any night on the calendar or at any other time, but that would strip this annual ritual of its meaning.

Our home's supply of candy to give out is curated too, trying to find that sweet spot between having too much around that tempts getting high off our own supply with just the cop-out of distributing crappy stuff on purpose. There's an unspoken contract at work, a civic duty to provide something other than licorice or lemon drops while also not torturing ourselves with the possibility of closing the door and turning off the lights and eating the entire bowl right there on the floor. There was enough good merchandise to necessitate it being hidden, lest the wife leave us with nothing to provide.

My sugar rush is bittersweet, however, an admittedly weird and arbitrary version of The Last Roundup or any story of the aging criminal trying to get out of the game with one final big score. This is the last pillowcase full of goodness subjected to the Dad Tax, a final connection to childhood through tastes and contexts remembered through candies that have changed little since they were created before World War II.

One kid is done with it and another is about to be, and the time that has elapsed since each was toddling around -- Snow White or Cinderella or a monkey or baseball player with an orange plastic pumpkin-bucket -- has done so seemingly in an instant.  

I'll want to look at all the parents at the bottom of our front stairs chaperoning their adorable little ladybugs and tell them before they walk away to hold on to as much of it as they can.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​​​​​​​​​​​