Let’s brag on the kids a little.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to gush about my kids; I don’t have any. I am talking about your children.

In the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to attend several community events where children were front and center, and I was once again so impressed with the manners and behaviors they displayed.

Let’s talk Halloween. This is a night where families sugar up their kids and probably keep some of them up past their bedtimes, so, of course, there is going to be the possibility of some meltdowns.

But in the several hours I spent at two local Halloween hot spots, other than a few being camera-shy, the children were nothing but polite.

I love the fact that so many of the residents of Scottville go all out to provide an old- fashioned, safe trick or treating experience for local youth. I talked to one local resident, Judy Ketron, who keeps a counter every year of how many children she sees. This year, she and her husband, Bill, sat on the sidewalk and handed out candy to 995 children from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Halloween night. She said another resident counted 1,200 children coming to their house.

I lost count of how many “thank you” and “Happy Halloween” greetings from children of all ages rang through the air. They were nice and grateful and brought huge smiles to the residents’ faces. I am not saying they were perfect, but, overall,  the tone of the night was wonderful.

While I am talking about Scottville, I want to give a special shout-out. The residents enjoy this so much and have been buying candy for 1,000-plus children without complaint for years. That kind of expense can add up when you are buying candy for 1,000 to 1,5000 children. Recognizing this might be a financial burden, local community groups, including the Elizabeth Randolph Lewis Powhatan YMCA, collected candy to supplement their candy supply and ease the burden a little, which is commendable.

A friend was handing out information about the 2020 Census at the gate of the 14th annual Harvest Fest Trunk-o-Treats at the Powhatan County Fairgrounds. Unsolicited, she couldn’t stop gushing about how friendly and polite the children had been that night and what an enjoyable experience it had been.

I felt the same way. Children went from car to car, waiting politely when there was a crowd in front of them and thanking the people who gave them treats. And while I am sure they were focused on getting candy, I don’t think you can say it was only the candy motivating their politeness because I have seen some truly disappointing behaviors before when treats and children were involved.

Fast forward to last week. I asked all of the public school principals if they had any Veterans Day activities planned, because it is always great to see schools imparting to our youth the significance of that day.

Dr. Samantha Martin, principal of Powhatan Middle School, told me about their schoolwide project, which involved having all of the students make cards and video messages to share with patients at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. I got to visit some of the classrooms to snap a few photos and found the students happy and engaged as they wrote cards – some of them quite artistic – and filmed little video greetings. I hope that when the veterans and their families see these small mementos, the experience will bring a smile to their faces and joy to their hearts.

Children by their very nature can be unpredictable and have the power to bring out such a range of emotions as a result. But just as the moments of frustration and disappointment have to be borne, the moments of kindness, politeness, and good will should be celebrated.

Laura McFarland may be reached at Lmcfarland@powhatantoday.com.

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