I was planning to write about why Invisalign is so awesome during Halloween (which it is…because, unlike braces, you take your aligners out before eating sugary treats). But then something happened that brought to mind a conversation I had with the orthodontic nurse the day we started our Invisalign treatment. It was the summer of 2015, and my daughter was 12. The nurse told me how amazing it is to see the change in their pre-teen patients during treatment…simply because the tween-to-teen transformation is so dramatic. I could only imagine then what she was talking about then, but now, over a year later, I know exactly what she means. Here’s the full story.
I just found out something exciting: my 13 year-old daughter is going trick-or-treating, and she wants me to come along.
This Halloween outing wasn’t a given. My kids are teenagers with their own plans and social lives, so there was every possibility I’d stay home and hand out candy this year. It feels like I’m getting a little bonus — a reminder to enjoy these moments with my kids, because we’re almost at the end of this chapter together.
We’ve been trick-or-treating together since she was a preschooler. Every year, we’ve wandered the neighborhood (sometimes with her older brother, sometimes alone) collecting candy and admiring the decorations and costumes. As she got older, friends invited her to trick-or-treat as a group. I’d follow along a few paces back, but invariably, the group would start running from house to house to maximize the candy haul, and she’d drop back so we could go at a more relaxed pace. “They’re missing half the fun,” she’d tell me. Eventually we’d peel off and do our own exploring.
The last few years, she has trick-or-treated with one of her closest friends, and her mom and I would tag along. That’s the plan again this year. My daughter jokes that the best thing about being the shortest member of her 8th grade class is that no one thinks twice when she shows up on their doorstep on Halloween. And her friend winkingly admitted that “the Mom presence” would be handy in case any creepy clowns show up.
CLOWNS: I WILL TAKE YOU DOWN IF YOU TRY TO MESS WITH MY GIRLS.
When I asked my studious, 17 year-old, almost-6-foot tall son what he’s doing on Halloween, he replied dryly, “I’ve got homework.” His trick-or-treat ship has already sailed. I’m glad he’s going to a Halloween party over the weekend so he can break out his trusty Halloween gag, the unicorn mask. No matter what anyone thinks, teenagers are still kids who love to play.
So here I am with the gift of at least one more trick-or-treat with my kid. I get to come home with my daughter after a chilly (and likely wet) night, plop down by the fire and sort through all the candy. Our sorting ritual will include the annual Reese’s Tax (I get the first one she finds) and the Scoffing At Butterfingers. I mean, really. Does anyone actually like those? My son will take a break from his homework to beg a few treats off his sister, and some lively bartering might take place. My husband will be lying prone on the couch, having eaten one too many candy bars from the stash we were handing out. My dog will be lying on his bed, exhausted by all the company he assumes kept coming to the door just to see him.
And, though my daughter probably won’t realize it, but I might enjoy this Halloween most of all.
This post is sponsored by Invisalign. My daughter and I are receiving complimentary treatment as part of the program. We’re almost done with treatment, and it has been so easy. Find out more about Invisalign for your family — our yourself — by making a free consultation appointment with a local Invisalign doctor in your neighborhood.