Seeing all of the little, costumed kids last night reminded me of an exercise we did when my sisters and I came home from trick or treating when I was their age.
My Mother had us empty out our bags of goodies, then she picked out all of the fruit, home-made cookies, and anything else that wasn’t wrapped…and threw them away.
The seven year old me was very upset, but I couldn’t verbalize my distress.
We were poor. Our neighbors were poor. Good people, just poor.
Home-made cookies or an apple was their Halloween treat from their family to mine.
And my Mom threw it in the trash because of fear.
Somebody told her that one of their friends knew somebody who knew somebody whose kid got an apple with a razor blade in it…or a cookie that had poison in it.
Our neighbors and the treats they gave us were safe, of course.
But those third and fourth and fifth hand horror stories were enough for her. They gave her The Fear. She would do whatever it took to protect us.
No wonder she fell prey to the unethical Doctors who wanted the cash for carving me up…
They could easily inspire The Fear much more intensely and convincingly than any Halloween legend. They lied. She consented. I totally get that…but…
Those apples were safe and healthy. So was my foreskin.
But because of The Fear, they’re both rotting in the trash somewhere now…
And part of me still carries the confused heartache of that seven year old boy. ~Jeff