Hallowe’en is a holiday that does not sit well with Colt. He does not like the dark, hates knocking on people’s door (shy…I was like that as a kid too), is terrified that a dog will jump out and hurt him and he is deeply unsettled when people do not look the way they are supposed to with masks and make up. The pretend world isn’t supposed to cross into reality for my boy.
Each year we ask several times if he’d like to go trick or treating and every year we get an ambivalent “yes” although he usually only does a handful of houses. This year I started early, telling him he didn’t have to do it; If he wanted, we could go to the dollar store on the weekend so he can pick out his own Hallowe’en candy! I offered to get him a plastic Hallowe’en basked he could fill so he’d have as much candy as his friends to enjoy. Even with this offer, he still decided to go.
Every year he has picked a costume to wear. No masks, no face makeup, no hats or anything strange on his head. No animal ears or tails, no-thing at all aside from a pair of skeleton gloves and a skeleton toque where nothing was hanging off. lol Fine. It was an easy costume to maintain and he never wavers in the end. Even if he wants to be Sonic the Hedgehog, he ends up a partial skeleton. (He wouldn’t even wear the hoodie with the bones on the front in class this year!)
As dark fell on a rainy, strangely warm Hallowe’en night, Colt and his dad set out to get some candy. He went first to his sitter’s house but didn’t want the potato chips or apple he was offered. He went to the next house and got a mini bag of M&M’s then burst into tears and begged his dad to bring him home.
The poor child wants, so much, to be like his friends and I can see the little tendrils of hurt snaking through his mind and heart, but, I think that by letting him no there was no shame in disliking trick or treating he felt a little better.
As he came in he walked right into my arms for a hug. I kissed his head and told him there were lots of kids afraid of the dark, dogs and costumes and that he would never have to go again. Next year I’m going to buy him candy before hand and make a game of hiding it around the house or something. I feel so sad for him, missing out. Mind you, I wasn’t a huge fan either. I used to follow a bunch of kids so I never had to knock….
So many changes this year….so much growing up going on. He struggles all the time but never once have I seen him give up. He never quits anything…just keeps at it until he finds his own way. He’s going to get there, I hope.
So, with a few tears and lots of hugs he settled again and began planning his shopping adventure for candy.
“Can I have ten packages of chocolate?” He asked. “And some gummy worms and bubble gum?”
“Yep, yep and yep!” I answered.
Things were wonderful after that. I love being able to fix what isn’t working in his life. If only it was all this easy.