To the Readers' Forum:
Last night my 5-year-old Ruby asked that I write to the newspaper.
She had just discovered the remains of two of our pumpkins smashed in the street, and through her tears, she had this question, "Why do people do bad things?"
Sunday afternoon, we'd arrived home, after a weekend visit, to find that someone had taken three of the seven pumpkins from the porch and smashed them in the street. Ruby and her sister Daisy decided to write notes to the pranksters, asking them not to hurt their other pumpkins, and we posted them on the porch.
That didn't work. Not 15 minutes after checking on the remaining pumpkins, the pranksters snuck back, smashing two more pumpkins, right under our noses, while the girls got ready for bed.
This incident is what prompted the tears and questions. When our 5-year-old saw what remained, she was inconsolable. It wasn't until after many hugs and sobs that she came upon a thought: "There are still good people in the city. Lots of them."
It was after this notion that we all came to agree that they could do whatever they wanted to our pumpkins, because we still will enjoy our Halloween.
So, to the pranksters who feel they need to smash the dreams of children, I want to remind you that the pumpkins are only the trimming. The dressing may make the holidays brighter, but it's the heart of the participants that make them richer. You may need them to steal and smash and toss, to release whatever frustrations and fears you may have. But, the pumpkins are just decorations for us to enjoy. We don't need them. The real spirit of the holidays is in the hearts of our children.
No pumpkin, no spooky decoration will ever fill their holiday spirits up more than knowing that there are "good people" out there.
So, Happy Halloween.