“I have a great idea!” my twelve-year-old son Evan exclaimed. “We can start decorating for Halloween now!”
It was April. Inwardly I was cringing, but I calmly said, “Don’t you think it’s a little early?”
“No!” he said. That’s how much he loves Halloween.
I couldn’t bear to dampen all of that youthful enthusiasm, so I simply looked the other way when he carted five boxes of Halloween decorations in from the garage (yes, we have indulged his passion for this holiday). Later, my husband surreptitiously carried the boxes back out to the garage.
Evan didn’t question the disappearance of his boxes, but it must have been on his mind. One night at bedtime, he said to me, “I don’t think parents would notice if they took away Halloween, if it wasn’t a holiday anymore.”
“Really?” I said.
“Well, would you care? Do you even like Halloween?” he asked me.
“I like it because you like it,” I said.
Evan was quiet, so I continued. “There are lots of things parents do because it makes their kids happy. For example, I probably wouldn’t watch animated movies if I didn’t have kids, but I enjoyed watching cartoons with Sarah when she was little, and now I like seeing them with you.
Evan didn’t say anything. “Does that make sense?” I asked him.
“Yes. That’s love,” he said.