When Christine Richardson first spoke to her mom Sunday in Zion, Mich., she thought something seemed a little off. Her mom seemed down, as if she hadn’t slept well.
“She was kind of in a little bit of a funk,” Richardson said in a phone interview with McClatchy. But then she got an idea for how to cheer her 91-year-old mother “Baba” back up.
“She always talks about seeing her grandkids and her great-grandkids, so when I spoke to her Sunday morning and she sounded down, I thought, you know what, we’re going to go visit. It’s Halloween, it’s trick or treating, we’re going to go see the grandkids. I said ‘All right mom get up, get dressed, I’m coming over to get you,’ ” Richardson said.
At first, Baba didn’t seem to understand exactly what the plan was. She had moved to the United States from Croatia as a teenager after World War II, and so was always too old to go trick-or-treating. The family had celebrated the holiday — Richardson said she and her siblings often dressed as hobos in flannel shirts — but Mary had never actually gone out on Halloween night herself.
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“The whole concept of saying trick or treat, she had to learn,” Richardson said.
On the drive over, Richardson explained that they were going to go to her grandkids’ houses, and Baba was to knock and then say “Trick or treat!” when the door opened.
It didn’t quite work out at first.
“I stepped back and (her grandson) answered the door, and she said ‘Good morning, my grandson!’ And I said ‘No mom! That’s not it!’ ”
They laughed and came inside to visit, bringing candy for the kids and food for the adults. “The kids sat on her lap, gave her hugs and kisses. Mother was just beaming. She was just so tickled pink.”
They hopped back in the car and drove to another grandson’s house. Richardson tried again to make sure her mom knew the proper Halloween procedure.
“I said, ‘You have to say trick or treat when they answer the door!’ ‘Okay,’ she says to me.’ “
But it didn’t quite work out this time either. First Baba said trick or treat before the door opened, and then when it did open, she said “Good morning!”
“I’m like ‘Noooo mom!’ ” Richardson laughed.
But the third house was the charm. That time, Baba finally said “Trick or treat!” when her family opened the door. Richardson captured the adorable scene on video and in photos and shared them to Facebook.
“She had a blast! And she got so many hugs and kisses and pictures too! She just couldn’t stop talking about tricking all her great grand babies!” Richardson wrote.