When he was three he wanted no part of a costume and he wouldn’t leave the house.
When he was five he tolerated wearing a striped shirt and we called him a pirate, but he still threw a complete temper tantrum when we tried to leave the house.
When he was six he tolerated a cape and let us draw a circle around his eye. We called him “The Count” and he let us pull him around the neighborhood for fifteen minutes in a wagon. His big sister brought back extra candy from each door she knocked on.
When he was seven he wore jeans, a vest and a cowboy hat (for 10 minutes) and called himself “Woody”. We joined our friends and trick-or-treated for 45 minutes. He tried to run inside every house as they opened the door. We pulled him out of more than one strange living room kicking and screaming. We called it a win and went home exhausted.
When he was eight Halloween was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. He didn’t even notice.
When he was nine he demanded to be “Woody” again and we trick-or-treated with Grandma and Pop Pop. He exclaimed “Trick-or-Treat” boldly at each door and said “thank you” when he received his candy. He got upset when it started to rain and we had to go inside and he crashed from a sugar high on our living room floor.
This year he is ten. He is vacillating between being a “Cowboy”, “The Count”, or a “Bumble-bee” (that is a new idea he dropped on us today) and we are finalizing our agreement about how much candy he can eat on Halloween night.
It’s been a long haul. We keep plugging away… because that’s what we do.
I know many of you are feeling that familiar pang of sadness and envy as another holiday approaches. It’s a feeling only families like ours can truly understand. I can’t make promises or guarantees that they will get better. But I can offer our experience and progress to this point as a small light of hope that they can.