How Adventure Dies

The city of Montreal cancelled Halloween.

Wow.

The city is worried about a storm blowing in with rain and high winds. Fair enough. But, where does this stop? Will the city now regulate when you can go for a walk during a possible storm? What about all the kids who walked to and from school today? Are they in any less danger than when they Trick or Treat the neighbourhood a few hours later?

Adventure is all about doing something that is just a little bit scary. If I don’t have a great story to tell afterwards, then I did not have an adventure. I had an experience. There is nothing wrong with a good experience, but I am concerned they are replacing true adventures.

Adventures are those moments that rock your world. They are the moments that teach you the most about yourself, your friends, and how the world works. Adventures can be darn scary while in the middle of one, but afterwards I can always look back and see the lessons and nuances.

Adventures teach all kinds of things, including decision making. There is nothing that focuses my mind and narrows my choices more than being caught between a rock and a hard place. I must figure it out. And more important, I will figure it out, because I have to.

If I cannot decide for myself whether it’s safe to walk around my streets on Halloween, then how the heck am I supposed to develop my decision-making skills? Cancelling Halloween is denying young people an opportunity to make a good decision. Or even better, it’s denying them an opportunity to make a bad decision, with low consequences.

I would much rather my kids fail – and fail hard – while they are still at home. If my kids go out in a snow storm (this is Canada) without being properly bundled up, there are a few natural consequences like cold hands and feet, minor frostbite, red faces and possibly catching a cold. This bad decision making is a good thing, because next time they just might dress better.

Last year, my daughters created a haunted circus on our front porch for Halloween. They went shopping at the local Value Village for outfits, and then spent the night scaring kids and handing out candy. As you can see from the photo, they were not dressed very well for the end of October.

Halloween 1

This scary clown costume was a good idea in the store, but she was freezing after an hour. This year, she is bundled up with a baggy dress over top. It’s not good enough for ME to tell her to dress warm. She has to experience the consequences of her decisions, so she can learn.

This year, my kids are doing the same haunted circus theme, but guess what? They went shopping again but they bought big baggy dresses they can wear over top of sweaters and warm pants. If a teenager can learn a lesson, then there’s hope for all humanity.

Adventures are vital for proper development in kids, and they keep adults’ lives interesting. If Halloween wasn’t cancelled in Montreal, I can guarantee you the kids would be at school the next day with outrageous stories of daring-do. How they battled against strong winds, jumped giant puddles, and were soaked through from the rain. Now that’s an adventurous Halloween to remember!

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Posted in Adventures

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