Halloween. The holiest day of the year.

Sam, age 11, got 9 pounds of candy. He knows because he weighed it when he was finished scouring the neighborhood. He is a Halloween candy mercenary. He weighed it for braggin rights and probably to keep tabs. He remembers when he was younger and he’d keep coming home from trick-or-treating and when he wasn’t looking, I’d pour lots of his winnings back into our trick-or-treat bowl. Or like any self-respecting American mother, I’d pick out the good stuff and hide it in the freezer, a stash that would last me for months of three in the afternoon fixes.mandala

But he’s so onto me. After weighing his candy, he went to his room and all was suspiciously quiet for an hour. He’s stuffing himself, I thought, and have long since decided that on the two holiest chocolate days of the year — Easter and Halloween — that’s aboslutely okay.

But I was wrong. When I finally went into his room, I found a chocolate mandala. He had arranged candy by type into design that looked like something a monk would have created if he meditated on Hershey’s instead of grains of sand. Said Sam: “The candy in the middle is, what do you call that when there aren’t many animals are left? Extinct? No, endangered. That’s where the endangered candy is.” Only one Recees cup left, only a single chocolate ear, and a sole ring pop  It was so beautiful, what he’d created.

I thought in all the mad rush for candy, candy, candy, he’s miss the message. But he’s really growing up. He’d finally realized the true meaning of Halloween.


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