I am wrestling with Halloween. I have been for a while now. It is not an innocent holiday, especially for those with sensitive spirits. And when did having a sensitive spirit towards evil, scary things become a bad thing?
We took the girls trick or treating tonight. We were enjoying the neighborhood and time together. We were being cautious to avoid houses with scary decor and only visit ones with friendly front porches. Maleah was LOVING it. She did last year too. She loves people and parities and candy. She loves meeting people and chatting with them and I am sure she enjoys how everyone tells her she is so cute.
We did a couple of streets, their buckets were pretty full and Reese was ready to be done. She really wanted to head home to pass out the candy. But Maleah, well, she wanted the party to continue!
So we dropped daddy and Reese back at home and Maleah and I continued on. She was pointing out the costumes she saw, seeing kids she knew from Reese's school. She was so delighted with this event. And she was helping me choose which houses to go to based on their inviting or not so inviting front porches.
We came to a house, nicely lighted and no decorations to avoid, in fact no decorations at all. I saw the old man notice us from the front office as Maleah climbed the front stairs on her own and I waited at the bottom. She excitedly knocked on the door and waited.
The door swung open and he jumps out with a scary mask on and screams at her! Maleah's excitement turned to terror, she turned, jumped off the porch into my arms screaming and crying. And the man shouts "Careful on the stairs! Don't you want any candy?" "Ummm not now!" I replied as I tried to console Maleah.
She was done. No more houses. I encouraged her to try one more, trying to end on a positive note because really up unto that house it had been a very positive night. She agreed to try one more, clung to my hand, hid behind my back in case it happened again. Thankfully it was a very sweet couple who came to the door. But Maleah's innocent joy for trick or treating was lost.
I do not understand seeing through your window a little girl in her costume come up your steps and think it would be fun to frighten her. (Yes, it is his house and we came to him and he can choose what is fun for him.) And yet there was not one single sign that it would be a scary house.
Maleah says that she forgives him, that he is not a bad man. She struggled going to bed saying that she kept seeing that scary face over and over again. Was the positive part of the night worth the risk we unknowingly took? I am not so sure. She had such joy over this event and now she will be cautious. That could be a good thing, Maleah is all to trusting some times. But it is so sad to me to see that innocent joy lost. And I will never understand scaring little kids. Makes.no.sense.to.me.at.all.
My heart is hurting for her. I could not protect her the way I wanted to. I thought we could pick out and avoid the dangerous houses. We.could.not. I felt so bad that I let this happen to her. And yet I know, I am not her only protector. She is God's child, and He loves her more than I ever will and protects her in ways that I never could. And He can use this for good, for protection in the future. I know these things are true and my heart still hurts as I think about the fear in her eyes and my inability to choose fun from frightful.