I live in a world where people of all shapes and sizes dare not leave the confines of their homes without wearing some kind of mask.
Whether it be to hide the pain, guilt or shame. Or whether it be to prevent a nasty cold from spreading to passerby's, we all have the masks we wear. However, once a year, on October the 31st, there be a Holiday called Halloween, where the celebrating of mask wearing is praised, and this is a story of one such encounter.
It was a day like no other as my twelve year old came running down the stairs, all excited he was. "Is it time, mom?" Is it time? Can we go yet?"
So eager to join his friends in the tale-telling of his first experience at trick-or-treating.
"Calm down, Kevin. We still have a few hours, besides you haven't even picked out your masks."
"It's hard to decide mom, I don't know which one to wear. There's so many to choose from."
Kevin was right, knowing which mask to wear was certainly a challenge for a twelve year old that had never been out trick-or-treating before. Besides, people everywhere were already wearing masks.
I laid all the different masks on the counter and told Kevin to make a choice. He carefully browsed over each one.
"Hey, mom, what do you think?" He asked as he held up the mask of defeat over his face. "No dear, that's not you, you're a warrior." I said.
"What about this one?" He asked, waiving the mask of pride in my face. "No Kevin that's not a good fit for you either, for you my love are kind and tender-hearted." Kevin continued looking and asking what I thought until he reached the last mask on the counter, in which I smiled and said, "That looks like you."
Keven then ran upstairs and back down, he was fully dressed now in his costume. One of which, is a daily style for him and anyone in like mindedness.
A gust of wind blew as we walked out the door, the sky a dusty black as glittering stars shown through the trees ahead. Not much light, save a few street lights that were still lit, as well as porch lights, indicating children could come to said houses. I walked beside Kevin as we turned into Mr. and Mrs. Ruins house. Their yard was filled with ghosts and goblins and a few animated spider-webs hanging in the bushes. Kevin, didn't seem scared, though he stayed close to my side. Kevin reached up and rang the bell. Mrs. Ruins was astonished when she saw that it was Kevin, she remarked at what a handsome young man he was turning out to be. Kevin thanked Mrs. Ruins for her compliments, as well as the amount of candy she gave.
The next house was sort of run down, it was hard to tell if anyone truly lived there. But being that there was a light on in the kitchen window, Kevin didn't miss a beat at ringing the bell. An older gentleman answered the door. "I'm sorry" he said, "I don't celebrate Halloween." Kevin replied, "it's quite alright, you have a good evening sir." With that, the man dropped twenty dollars in Kevin's bag. Kevin smiled, thanked the man and he and his mom went on their way.
"Hey mom, Kevin asked, what's with all the pumpkins at people's doors?"" And why all the creepy faces carved on them?" "Oh, it's just a way that some folks celebrate Halloween."" It's said to be an old folklore, that if one leaves a pumpkin at the door on the night of Hallows eve, it will ward off any evil spirits that might be roaming around." I replied. "So what's with the scary costumes?" Kevin asked. "Oh, it also goes back to that folklore I was telling you about." "People believed that if they dressed scary enough, the evil spirits floating around wouldn't recognize them."" But these days it's just a way folks celebrate Halloween." I thought the night would never end with all the questions Kevin had for me. However, I joyed in answering his questions and seeing him grow as he learned there was more to this fateful night, than, that of candy and having fun.
Halloween came and went, but Kevin had a great time and could hardly wait for the next year to arrive. At school the following week, he sat with his friends telling the stories and experiences he encountered on that fateful night of October 31st. "The first door I walked up to was creepy, he said, but I wasn't scared." I just walked right up there and rang the bell." What did they give you? asked Jason. Did you get lots of candy? Ralph chimed in. They opened their door and just stood in awe for a moment, then they put a bowl of goodies in my bag. One house even gave me money. I had so much fun. What about you guys, did y'all get lots of candy? Kevin asked. Yeah, both Jason and Ralph said. But no one gave us money, man Kevin, you are lucky. By the way, what did you dress up as? Ralph asked.
Oh, I just went as myself, a warrior and a child of a living King. Wow! What did you wear? Jason asked. Oh nothing shiny or make believe, I just put on a little kindness, and gratitude. I also grabbed a handful of patience and tied my shoes with peace. My mom said, I looked great. She went with me at every door. I enjoyed having her at my side, it made me feel safe. What did you guys wear? Kevin asked. I went as a raging bear, Jason blurted out. Me, said Ralph, I dressed up as a mass murderer. I had a plastic axe in my hand. Oh wow, Kevin said, I bet the people were scared when they saw you guys. Nah, but we did get lots of candy. Ralph and Jason said. Then they all leaned back and began to laugh.