It’s come and gone, and now there is a bucket full of temptation sitting on the top of my fridge. The Roc was super excited about Halloween in Minnesota, his first time trick-or-treating in this neighborhood, and more importantly, with his cousin Matthew.
It’s funny how some things that are so different, a complete departure from what he has done for 3 years in a row, he anticipates with glee; and then the events I do no think will register on the anxiety scale completely throw him off.
When we lived in Delaware we carved our pumpkins the weekend before Halloween, let me restate that, GC carved our pumpkins while the Roc watched and I took pictures. This year, my sister invited us over to carve pumpkins on Saturday. I told the Roc, but didn’t think much of it, figuring he would be super excited to go down to my sister’s house. When we pulled into my sisters driveway, (yes, one street away, I wasn’t carrying 6 pumpkins on foot (and YES, we had SIX pumpkins)) the Roc told me he was anxious. He didn’t want to get out of the van, he looked worried and scared.
“Baby, you’ve been here before, we’re going to go and find your cousins,” I told him as I walked up to the front door looking for my sister’s family.
He stayed put on the driveway. I found everyone on the patio, plunked my pumpkins down and went to grab a couple more.
“Come on Roc! Everyone is on the patio. Let’s go carve our pumpkins!” I tried to move him along.
“I’m too anxious,” he told me.
I carried the remaining pumpkins to the backyard and got started. Eventually the Roc came to the back with GC, but he still wasn’t happy. I was cutting the top off my pumpkin and I exhaled, realizing that he needed some validation. That even though I didn’t plan for him to react this way, he was, and I needed to say something to him, to help him. I could feel his unease and sense his internal pressure was building.
“I understand, this is different from what we did in Delaware right?” I asked him. “Usually it was just Mommy and Daddy and you, and we would carve the pumpkins at our table, right?”
“This is different!” he exclaimed.
“I understand, but we can do things differently. It’s okay to do things differently. And this will be fun! We get to see what your cousins carve into their pumpkins.” I tried to encourage him. Inside I was shocked at myself for being shocked that he was anxious at my sister’s house. I know better.
After I scooped a pumpkin I handed it over to GC. It’s his punishment for being so creative and handy with a knife. I convinced the Roc watched GC carve.
I kept GC busy carving for a long time. We even got him to try to make an “angry bird” (but we forgot to poke some holes, or leave the lid off and the darn thing didn’t stay lit on Halloween, but it did look really cool!) and the NJ Devils pumpkin he does every year. He may act like he doesn’t want to carve, but look, he’s smiling!
After dinner we lit up the pumpkins.
The Roc was super excited about Halloween when he got home from school. The first trick-or-treaters came before it was even dark, and the Roc cut his dinner short to get into his costume.
GC took him around the neighborhood with my BIL, Matthew, and a few other dads and kids from my sister’s street. I sat in the circle with some of the neighbors, by a fire, and handed out candy (totally the way to do it!) When they came back 1.5 hours later the Roc was all smiles, he had only worn the mask for a few houses. GC said it wasn’t long after they had started that the Roc fell flat on his face and he was sure that the evening was over, that he was going to meltdown. But the Roc choked back his anger and embarrassment and kept going. HUGE! He ran with the other kids and this year he didn’t try to go into every house.
The whole evening was a success.
(A funny thing – he could really care less about the candy. The bucket is on top of the fridge and he doesn’t ask for any of it. He wants to keep eating the same desserts he always does. Yay for that!)