Last night made me really miss being six years old.
It was Halloween: the most glorious kid holiday ever. It was the one night a year when you were allowed to roam the neighbourhood after the street lights came on and stay up all night fuelled by adrenaline and copious amounts of sugar. There was pumpkin carving and haunted houses and horror movies that you were always too afraid to watch. There were parades at school and ghost stories and choruses of “Trick-or-treat!” echoing on every street. There was the crunch of leaves under your feet as you collected your candy and hot chocolate when you got back home to warm you up after spending hours outside in the brisk fall air.
Sometimes I feel like I grew up way too quickly.
I’m sure we all do. It doesn’t seem like it was twelve years ago that I was that six year old child eating chili before I went trick-or-treating and cursing my parents for making me wear my coat underneath my costume. It doesn’t seem like it was so long ago that I walked the eerily decorated streets and my feet were aching with exhaustion but I willed myself to keep going because I had only filled three grocery bags with candy. It doesn’t seem like it was forever ago that I screamed as people popped out of leaf piles or mechanical hands grabbed me as I tried to collect my treats. It doesn’t seem like so long ago that I was a carefree child.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, as cliché as it sounds, time really does fly. Some nights, like last night, it hits me because I remember how six-year-old-me would have been feeling. And now instead of trick-or-treating I’m stressing about midterms. I think that sometimes we let memories float away from us, like steam rising in cool air. We forget about those moments that made us smile. We forget about the simplest things that didn’t seem so simple back then.
But maybe these don’t have to be memories that come back to us once a year and leave us feeling sadly nostalgic. Maybe next Halloween I’ll let my six year old self enjoy a night of trick-or-treating. Maybe instead of freaking out about whether or not I’m going to pass my midterms I’ll find the silliest costume I can (with my jacket on underneath, of course), grab a couple of friends and set out to get some treats.
We may not be six years old anymore, but I think there will always be a little bit of our childhood selves within us. So next Halloween, let’s celebrate the most glorious kid holiday ever by dressing up, getting a ton of candy, and pigging out until we’re so hopped up on sugar that we can’t see straight. Deal?