Remember: It Is Everyone's HalloweenBeth Anne Ballance
Our last three Halloween’s have been kind of a bust. Harrison was too small for 2009 (at 2 weeks old) and 2010 (at only one year). Last year, we hit up a church festival a few days before Halloween but come the actual day, it was cold and rainy and my husband was working late. So Harry and I hunkered down with soup and a Disney movie for the evening instead of braving the elements in costume.
This year is a different story. He’s three and loves candy. His daycare has done such fun activities that he knows it’s a “special day” and he has adored seeing all the decorations up in our neighborhood. We’ve been practicing saying “Trick or Treat!” and I’m tossing together a costume from stuff we have around the house (he will be a construction worker). But I am also realistic at how tonight may go – that my clothing-sensitive kid may refuse to wear his costume, that he may not say “Trick or Treat!” since he’s still shy about his speech delay. We may only hit two houses before he calls it a night and that’s okay. But it’s a lesson that took me being a momma to a sensitive, shy boy to learn.
This has been floating around the interwebs the past few days and it is so important to remember tonight:
Tonight a lot of creatures will visit your door. Be open minded. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues. The child who does not say “trick or treat” or “thank you” might be painfully shy, non-verbal, or selectively mute. If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with developmental speech. The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have an allergy. The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have SPD or autism. Be kind, be patient, smile, pretend you understand. It’s everyone’s Halloween.
So with that, I ask you on behalf of many mommas out there…
Please don’t roll your eyes at my baby if he doesn’t speak to you and instead just stands there.
Please don’t wonder if I was too busy to get him a costume and that’s why he’s not wearing one, when in fact, I would have spent whatever money was needed to find him a costume he would wear.
Please don’t get irritated when he takes awhile deciding which candy he’d like. And please don’t feel insulted if he doesn’t want your candy.
I get it. I used to be that person who got irritated with the kid that took too much or seem unthankful or wouldn’t even speak to me. It’s natural to feel irritated in that situation when you’re doing something kind for their enjoyment that frankly, costs a lot of money and time (candy isn’t cheap!).
But he’s three. He’s three with a speech delay. But I love him and he’s my baby and he’s really, really excited about tonight.