The parent in this case was my mother who, back in the 1950s, thought the Three Stooges were too violent, carrot and celery sticks were excellent snacks, and putting a piano in my childhood bedroom would inspire me to practice in between lessons.*Shouldn’t be too difficult to guess what Halloween was like during my formative years – I collected pennies for UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) instead of candy. And so what if I haven’t needed a dental cavity filled since the early 1960s, pennies instead of candy? Pennies? Really? Really.
For decades, the annual pennies-for-UNICEF-on-Halloween drill was on the list of childhood grievances I’d recite in psychotherapy. No, it wasn’t at the top – I’ve never been quite that nuts. Still, it was on the list of childhood never-quite-experienced.
Now that I’m older, not only do I appreciate my mother’s passion for social justice, but I love her for hard wiring it into me. I don’t wait for Halloween to make charitable contributions. I also buy “fun size” candy bars all year long. Thanks be to God.
*FYI: they were, they weren’t, it didn’t.