Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Little Monsters - Children and Halloween

My son is excited about Halloween. He's been ready for three weeks to put on his costume and wander up and down the street in Uncles Nic and Carlos' neighborhood, stopping at houses and saying, "Trick or treat!" And I'm excited for him.

Little Monsters - Children and Halloween
Silas Halloween 2012
He's 3. He knows no strangers. He says hi to everyone. Last year he saw gaggles of kids trick-or-treating together and he would run up to them and cry, "Hi guys!" Some of the older kids would give him a look and keep walking, and my son ran back to me, dejected.

"A**holes," I thought. There is no reason for that. I wanted to cry for him. But he kept doing it. 

"Hi guys!!"

No response. Funny looks. Keep walking.

Eventually, you know what happened. He slowly stopped doing it. Finally he said, "Mommy, I all done trick treat."

I was so angry. I wanted to pull these people aside and say, "Are you kidding me? The least you could do is say hi and wave to him!" I wanted to find these kids' parents and talk to them about common courtesy.

My son is what some people would call "sensitive." He picks his nails when he gets anxious. He cries when he gets in trouble and runs to his bed, later to return and say, "I so sorry. I never do it again. I love you." I hate the thought that trick or treating can make him less likely to put himself out there and be friendly. 

Last year I remember a meme floating around Facebook that reminded people that some of the "visitors" they have for Halloween may be different than what they perceive as "the normal child." Some may have developmental delays, physical differences, Autism, the list could go on. And seeing this image, this reminder, made me tear up.

These little guys and girls are out there to have fun. They're out there to dress up, say hi to people, and enjoy this yearly opportunity to just enjoy...well...life. To them it's not about differences or sometimes even the candy (although that's a bonus).

So please. If you're participating in Halloween this year, make an effort to stop and say hi or "Cool costume!" to these little people who are putting themselves out there. The Silases of the world will have their day made by just that one little act of kindness.