While I usually leave my visits with my refugee family in good spirits, I have to say that tonight’s visit made me sad. It is Halloween, and my partner and I went over to take some of the younger children trick-or-treating. They said they had already done their building earlier in the afternoon and gotten some candy, so we went to their old apartment building across the street. I found the experience depressing, to say the least. We went to a couple different floors and the kids knocked on all the apartment doors. Almost no one answered or we heard a mumbled no when the kids said trick-or-treat. A couple people answered but didn’t have anything. They ended up getting one dollar bill, one sucker, and one tootsie roll each. They seemed a little down that no one was answering.
Tonight made me think about how their trick-or-treating experience was light years away from the experiences I had growing up. I would go with my siblings, cousins, and parents and we would sprint from house to house in a nice suburb. Every house had friendly people who opened the door and had lots of candy. These kids went trick-or-treating in a dingy apartment building where almost no one answered or had candy.
My boyfriend has a car and I am kicking myself for not thinking ahead and taking them trick-or-treating in a suburb where they could have gotten more out of the experience. Tonight’s visit just made me think a lot about the disparity between kids who have a lot growing up and kids who don’t have as much. I have such good memories of the fun times I had trick-or-treating and I wish I could have provided a better trick-or-treating experience for these kids.