Maybe we all need a little reality escape

Published 1:18 am Sunday, October 30, 2016

A 3-year-old mind is about as puzzling as the Rubik’s Cube was to most human beings when the toy was first introduced in the 1980s.

Our daughter Anna has no problem imagining a wild world around her in which stuffed animals become friends from school or church and all of the human (and occasional dog) inhabitants of our house are expected to don pseudo-identities at the drop of a hat.

I regularly play the part of Mimi (her grandmother) or a cousin or an aunt. Yes, I’m totally comfortable pretending to be my own mother. It is perfectly normal, correct?

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But sometimes the flexible, imaginative mind comes to a screeching halt when something baffles her little mind.

We saw an example of that last week, while we were finishing dinner and recounting the Halloween activities in the coming week.

My wife mentioned that on Sunday (tonight), we planned to attend the Trunk or Treat event at Parkway Baptist Church.

Immediately, the inquisitive Anna began asking questions. Mother Julie tried to help.

“Truck or treat is where people from the church open up the trunks of their cars …”

“What’s a trunk, Mommy?”

“It’s in the back of the car like where we put your stroller and where we put groceries sometimes,” Julie replied.

Satisfied with the answer, Anna awaited for Julie to finish the explanation.

“They decorate their trunks and give out candy to children who walk by and are dressed up for Halloween.”

Astonished at this completely ludicrous notion, Anna had to ask for further explanation.

“Why do people do that?”

It’s a good question and one that took us a bit aback.

We quickly explained to her a little about Halloween traditions, but it is clear she is not fully sold on the notion.

The only good part for her is that she can dress up like a princess.

All of the Halloween hoopla does cause many of us to scratch our heads a bit. Churches wisely started offering safe alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating years ago with fall festivals and events such as trunk or treats.

Local dentist Dr. Bruce Scarborough openly jokes that Halloween is his favorite holiday, a reference to the potential long-term effects on his dental practice if lots of us consume large quantities of sugary candy and fail to clean it off our teeth.

Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays, but somehow this year it seems like we might all use a little break and a little treat by escaping from reality.

The year has been a pretty vicious one on the national front with police shootings — both by and at the police — along with a national election of unprecedented moral decay.

Perhaps a little trunk-or-treat fun and some good-natured candy escape is what we all need.

Who knows, with the right combination of Laffy Taffy and Now and Laters, we might even manage to keep the political mudslinging temporarily muted with sticky candy clenching our teeth together.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that were possible and the quiet could last until after the election.

How silly of me to think of that.

My unicorn and I will now get back to flying around the yard and pretending to be someone else, perhaps in another, magical place where all the trunks are filled with candy and all the troubles of our world are non-existent.
Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or