I have many fond memories of taking my own children trick-or-treating, walking along as my three youngsters charged through our friendly development in Pennsylvania. Neighbors and I exchanged greetings while my children politely expressed their thanks for the adult's generosity. With all the neighborhood children in their scary finery, it was a fun, almost magical night.
Now that my children are grown with children of their own, my role switched and I became the neighbor at the door, handing out treats and waving at the few parents who walked along with their little ones. I still enjoyed the magic of the night, oohing and ahhing at everyone's costume while I handed out my treat bags.
Things began to change. Carloads of kids were slowly driven through our neighborhood. Cars I didn't recognize full of kids and adults I didn't know. Then kids became more forward and less appreciative. "Is that all you're giving me?" or "Come on, throw another bag in here." The kids were older and costumes more suggestive. For some, it was a teenager's excuse to go around looking like a hooker. I'm getting old, I guess. I didn't much like the changes.
Next, cell phones entered the trick-or-treating experience. Kids were now too busy to say anything as they texted with one hand and held the bag with their other. If you tried to engage them in dialogue, they rolled their eyes and huffed in annoyance. You know, that attitude of entitlement so previlent today. The enjoyment was gone. The delight of looking at cute costumes on even cuter kids was dimmed. I'm not giving out treats tonight--and I'm going to miss it. Call back yesterday...