My kids have never ever in their lives participated in the American tradition of trick-or-treating. As expats living in Africa, October is just not a real hot month to make a return to the USA. We have thought about recreating a mini-Halloween for them in Africa, but really… I’m not that awesome.
When I asked my 6 year old at the breakfast table today what he thought Halloween was he said, “Oh, I saw that in a movie. That’s when all the kids dress up and then they get candy.” I responded with, “Yeah, that’s right. Did you know that’s not a made up story? Some kids actually get to do that in real life.” To which he responded, “What? They do? Can I meet them?”
“Yes they do, really. And I think a meeting can be arranged, err… someday.”
Guilty parent monologue: Despite never having been trick-or-treating my kids do have an entire Rubbermaid bin full of dress up costumes that gets used almost daily… they just don’t get rewarded in chocolate for donning their costumes. Ok, sometimes they do… especially their adorable Yoda costume!
I often forget that all my kids have ever known about American culture comes from my husband and me. They experience the United States and those living in it for about a month out of every year. Which means, drum-roll, I am they’re America (a scary thought). As my kid’s own personal “mini America” I realize I have failed at imparting an appropriate amount of American tradition into my little ones heads regarding the great tradition of trick-or-treating.
This led me to composing a lengthy email to the US Embassy of Bujumbura, Burundi to ask them if any of their staff would be willing to invite trick-or-treaters to their doors this Halloween. The great thing about living in a small town in the heart of Africa is that we know plenty of the embassy staff and I bet if I tote my sad “Halloween deprived children” story around long enough, we might be trick-or-treating on Halloween after all. I’ll keep you all posted!