Earlier this week I read a post on social media about allowing teens to trick-or-treat, because it’s innocent fun for them…and certainly better than having them out drinking and/or egging and/or other shenanigans.
This story is a classic example of why this is true.
When I was young, growing up in Greenfield, it sure seemed like kids were not very nice. Constantly taunting and making fun of… anyone who was different. At times, life seemed like a scene right out of a cliché 80s movie.
And for this reason, I was fearful of what my son might endure from his peers when he went to junior high.
Most of you who know me at all know that my son, Zion, has autism. He is 13 years old, 5’7″, and weighs 160 pounds.
He’s big and tall for his age.
Yet he has the joy, innocence and curiosity of a 5 year old.
And he still loves to go trick-or-treating.
This evening, while out in Sherwood Hills in Greenfield, we were greeted at the homes of some of the kindest and most gracious people I could imagine.
Some of them I remembered as parents of friends from high school.
Others I recognized but couldn’t place.
Others were simply kind strangers.
But I was most impressed by the teens.
Kind. Conversational. Accepting.
Zion knocked on one door in particular, and this darling girl about Zion’s age, opened the door and said, “Well hi, Zion!”
I was stunned.
She introduced herself, and told me she is a peer friend in Zion’s alternative classroom at school. (And she couldn’t have been any sweeter if she’d been dipped in sugar.)
Ten minutes later we ran into a T-Rex trio in costume. Zion busted out laughing, jumped up and down, and squealed, “Mama, look at the big dinosaurs!”
The high school boys in those costumes were so kind to Zion. They even stopped and let us snap this photograph.
So to the good people of Sherwood Hills…kudos for your kindness. Thank you for allowing my big ole teenage boy to squeal and jump up and down on your porches and doorsteps. Thank you for your top shelf candy and fabulous decorations. But most of all thank you for your amazing and well-raised kids.
I have one happy, very sugared-up teen on my hands, who is talking a thousand miles a minute about his evening.
That happiness cost you a smile, a Happy Halloween, and a 25 cent piece of candy.
So does it really matter that you gave it to a 13 year old?
Yes, it matters. It matters very much.