Over the weekend, we went to the costume store so that my son could pick out a Halloween costume. We walked around and tried to point out different possibilities. He inspected the pictures that turned from peaceful to gory and wanted to know how they worked. He was surprised that the plastic bloody heart was not in a “real” heart shape and asked questions about the different parts of this decoration. As we searched, it was clear that he was more drawn to the decorations than selecting “something” to be. After much looking, he said that he didn’t want to dress up and go trick-o-treating.
When he said this, I won’t lie…I was disappointed. I loved helping him pick out the clothes and accessories to create the perfect look. He has been Batman, a Witch, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Some of these pictures are my all time favorite photos! No photos at all this year? I knew that eventually we would stop this tradition but I didn’t expect it at 7 years old.
I looked around the store myself and thought maybe there were TOO many options. I thought it might help if I limited the choices. “Do you want to be Darth Maul or Mario?” Every choice that I presented to him, ended in the same way…”I don’t want to be either of those.”
I decided to change my tactics. I asked him why he didn’t want to go and he shared three reasons…
“You know the big reason…d-a-i-r-y” In the past, we go through his candy bag and carefully select the “safe” candy. Ever since his first trick-o-treating experience, he has always asked “Is this dairy-free? Are you sure?” I never thought that this bothered him, especially since we traded the candy that he couldn’t eat for other options that we purchased.
“I don’t know why you think it is okay to go to a stranger’s house when you would never have me go any other day.” This one is a bit trickier…especially since we had just shown him a photo of a Level 3 sex offender that recently moved into the attendance area. Even though we told him that it is safe when he is with us, he sees the world in black/white. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at this response.
“I hope that none of the c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n from my class v-i-s-i-t that night.” I asked why and he couldn’t really give me an answer. I could guess that it might be that he wouldn’t want to see them dressed up or he only wants to see them at school. I tried to get a better answer to this one, but I couldn’t. Actually, I don’t know if he even knows why he feels this way.
I tried to explain to my son that he is only a kid for a little while. That things like Halloween and trick-o-treating will be gone before he knows it and that he should enjoy it now as a kid. He asked, “Why do you care about trick-o-treating? Then he added what I think he thought would make his case…”I know how hard you work for our money and I don’t want you to waste it on one night.” Sigh…
It is the 2nd week of October and at this point, he is determined that trick-o-treating is not for him. Perhaps he will change his mind. So now I ask you…Should I care if my boy doesn’t want to go trick-o-treating?