I hate to judge.  I really do.  I try to daily define myself as that girl who tries to always remember that it's bad to judge a person unless you've either a) walked that same, virtually identical journey or b) have watched the other person walk it from a very close vantage point in a position of support and/or love.  Even then, judging is bad.  Don't do it.  I'll try not to, too.  Howevva, I walk to and from our local elementary school several times each day and am frankly staggered by some of the decorations I see displayed.  I love Halloween.  I'm in full support.  Watching my kids delight in the myriad preparations brings me great joy.  Let's be honest.  My own preparations bring me great joy.  I'm being Mrs. Roper from 'Three's Company' lore this year.  Last year it was a self-satisfied jelly fish.  My porch is all decked out in dorky pumpkins and singularly non-spooky 'Spooky' signs.  All of this to say, I'm no nay-sayer when it comes to this holiday.  But when my Littlest's wavering voice rises in a fearful crescendo, asking, "Mommy, that's just fiction, right?" I start to feel the indignant questions begin to flow.  My children's grandmother died two years ago and they fully get the fact that her earthly remains are now buried underground.  This feels disconcerting to them as they gaze upon the faux graveyards with boney remains reaching up out of the ground, grasping toward goodness-knows-what.  What about the two and three-year-olds in our trick-or-treating community?  Who gets to get up with them two weeks after the fact with the residual nightmares brought on by these ghastly scenes?  It seems to me (and maybe I'm just being naievely forgetful) that people didn't adorn their yards in such ways in the days of my youth.

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