I admit it. I lie to my kids.
One of my favorite lies is the Halloween Fairy. I completely stole this idea from my co-worker because it’s brilliant and saves me a lot of frustration down the road.
On Halloween night after trick-or-treating, the kids go through their candy and pick out 10 favorite pieces. They leave the rest in a pile for the Halloween Fairy to pick up while they sleep. The Halloween Fairy then takes the candy to all the kids in the hospital who couldn’t go trick-or-treating. (These people are also known as my co-workers. You’re welcome, guys.) In exchange, my kids get a toy. This year, it’s kinetic sand, which I may regret more than the candy. Time will tell.
Everyone is happy. My kids are happy because they got candy and a toy. My husband and I are happy because we only have to deal with the sugar rush of 10 pieces of candy instead of several pounds of it. And my co-workers are happy because my candy dish is full. Win-win-win.
I started the Halloween Fairy when they were 3 and old enough to realize I was slowly relieving them of the burden of eating all that candy. They seem more than happy with the trade. In fact, my daughter asked me about it this year and even brought up the sick kids in the hospital.
It isn’t all about what’s easier for me though. It’s a lesson for them. I’m trying to teach them to be empathetic to others. I’m also working on instilling in them the ideal that if we have the ability to give or help, we do. So, for now, the Halloween Fairy is a roundabout way of sneaking those concepts into their thinking. Even if it is tarnished with a lie, I can live with that.
– Rebecca Calappi is a Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health and adoptive parent of multiples.