“I think I want to go too,” he said, as his brother finished putting on his costume. My husband and I locked eyes, and then tried to stay cool.
“I think you should at least try it,” I said, holding my breath a little. “One of us will bring you home if it turns out to be too much, and then you can just hand out the candy like we planned.”
And, for the first time in years, my son participated in, enjoyed, and celebrated Halloween – with us, as a family.
It was our best Halloween yet.
Several years ago, he refused to put his costume on. He panicked. He cried. He grew angry.
He really wanted to go with us. But just couldn’t.
I was so angry,
I was so sad.
I was so resentful.
“Why won’t he just do what every other kid on the planet seems so happy to do?” I asked my sister.
“I know,” she said and then sweetly went to go comfort Sourdough in the bathroom, where he was hiding out and sobbing.
I sat on her couch and thought, “I have totally messed up my son…and I have no idea how to help him.” Then I sobbed too. For the loss and the fear and mostly, the ache for my little boy who just couldn’t be a little boy that night.
It was our worst Halloween yet.
It struck me, as we turned off the porch light last week and step over the piles of candy on the floor – I would not have perceived this as a good thing a few years ago, much less something to be so grateful for.
It grieves me to say, but I know that I would’ve dismissed it as not good enough. “He didn’t even wear a costume. He only went to like eight houses total. He even had to stop passing out candy after twenty minutes because the doorbell was getting to be too much for him.”
This year? Exactly the same circumstances sounded more like this: “He went out with us! He didn’t even need a costume. He went to at least eight houses. He handed out candy and it was so cute. He kept saying ‘Here you go. Happy Halloween!’ to every single child at the door, in exactly the same voice, over and over again. It was perfect.”
Today, I am so very thankful for perspective, understanding and time. I am thankful for being able to really see my child, celebrate who he is with joy, and not just selfishly focus on what is different about him.
I am thankful that God has answered my prayers, and is changing my heart.
As we move into November, I am so excited to share a month long focus on Giving Thanks. In various posts, throughout the course of the month, I hope to share areas in my life that I am purposing to cultivate more gratitude in and through. I also want to encourage you to do the same.
If you have something you feel thankful for this month, no matter how large or small, please share. Post it in a comment here on the blog, or on our Facebook page. If you would like to share a story of thanks, please send it to me at [email protected]
Seriously, don’t be shy. Share something seemingly small – “I am thankful that we made it to bedtime today.” Share something huge – “I am thankful that my daughter was finally granted IEP accommodations at school.”
Just share your heart.
I promise to do the same.