As we have gotten closer to the end of summer, we try to appreciate our family time before the chaos of school completely envelops us. Often times, a family walk is a great way to regroup and connect.
Apparently, my son was seeking that connection last night when he asked Diane to walk with him. This wasn’t going to be any ordinary stroll, he wanted to walk through the neighborhood dressed in his Obi Wan costume. Obi Wan? This was a costume that I had almost discarded because it had been ignored for a year.
My first instinct was to shout “No” which is probably why he insisted that she be the one to take him. That Star Wars get up would draw too much attention, putting him in a vulnerable place for people to stare or point; I had tried hard to prevent that kind of ridicule. I began to list all the reasons why it was a terrible idea. It was too late and we were trying to adhere to the earlier bedtime now. He would be way too hot and uncomfortable. Every reason that I came up with for not doing it, he countered it with a reason why he should. Finally, Diane looked at me as if to say…let him try this. This is not the fight you want to have tonight.
Apprehensively, I agreed.
When he was fully prepared with a black mask, Obi Wan robe (including a potato chip bag clip to keep it closed), and his wand, they stepped out the front door and out into the neighborhood. After a few minutes, I wondered if they were really going “out there” or would they hover near our house? I expected to see them on the porch or on the sidewalk but I looked outside and they were gone.
As I looked, I was struck by the beautiful sunset. I was slightly jealous about the alone time that they were having instead of taking full advantage of my alone time. I sat down and opened a magazine that had remained unopened since it arrived several weeks ago.
After thirty minutes, they returned. He was hot and kicked off his flip-flops and announced that the walk had taken a lot out of him. He enjoyed it, but now he needed a small snack and a large drink. I tried to ask him about his evening walk, but he didn’t want to share. It was as if he felt that since I didn’t go, I wasn’t allowed the details.
After he was asleep, I couldn’t wait to hear about the trip.
Neighbors walking their dogs looked a bit longer than they would have at a mother and son taking an evening walk.
Joggers turned to see the woman and boy who appeared to be out trick or treating, but way too early.
Cars slowed a bit and perhaps even took pictures with their cell phone.
It was an unsuspected sight for an August evening.
He loved it. He didn’t seem to notice the extra attention, which is so unlike him. He rehashed the details of his Mine Craft victories and was focused on the alone time that they were having.
I would have said no. I wouldn’t have wanted to parade my son through the neighborhood in costume. It would have embarrassed me, even though I know it wasn’t about me.
Would you have done it?