9to5to9: Sharing Little Guy’s magic
Little Guy started tentatively, teetering in his Thomas the Tank Engine sandwich board, one hand clutching his engineer hat and the other clutching mine as Big Guy scampered up the street.
Big Guy has two more Halloweens under his belt. He knew what the night is all about. Little Guy had yet to learn, so he was tickled just to be wearing his beloved Thomas costume, chugging up the sidewalk and giving it his best “woo woo.”
I would have been tickled to stay home.
I was exhausted after baking too far into the previous night – cookies and muffins for their party at school. I swore I wasn’t going to do that this time, but, because that’s what I do with every holiday and birthday, there I was, treating Halloween like it was a breaking news story that had taken me by surprise.
Predictably, the guys had been a handful all evening. Neither wanted to eat. Big Guy was too amped about hitting the streets, and Little Guy decided to give me trouble because that’s what That Older One was doing.
I was starving, but for something more substantial than chicken nuggets. Too bad – gotta go.
By the time I had wrangled them out the door, my head was throbbing and I wanted my pillow.
It was weird to start trick or treating in daylight, but for Little Guy, it was better that way. He’s not used to roaming the streets after dinner, let alone in the dark.
He worked up the courage to approach the first door only because it was a close and trusted neighbor. The second house was more intimidating. Little Guy was half way up the sidewalk when a loud bark told him to Velcro himself to my knees again.
By the fifth house, though, something clicked. Maybe it was the fact that the lady let him stick his hand in the bowl and take as many Tootsie Pops as he wanted. Maybe it was that he had four whole houses under his belt and nothing bad had happened. Maybe it was the younger-brother competitive streak – if That Older One can do it, I’m bloody well gonna do it, too.
Sixth house, he trucked up the sidewalk on Big Guy's heels. He came running back, treats in hand. “Look it, Mommy! I got cangy!”
Half a block later, he was a pro.
He’d learned that you don’t stop at the houses where the lights are off. “Twy next one!” he’d smile. He’d learned to say “twick or tweed” and mostly remembered his “tank yous”. He’d learned that he could carry his bag with one hand, hitch up his costume with the other and make it up steps.
And he’d learned that when you’re 2 and cute as a button, people will let you get away with thrusting your hand in the gigantic bowl and grabbing as much as you can get your fist around.
On one hand, Halloween is just a night of excess and over consumption.
But on this night, I realized Little Guy was in one of those moments. One of those times of childhood when life is all rainbows and Tootsie Pops, filled with the type of pure joy we rarely get to experience as we get older and lose the ability to just be.
There’s a lot about being 2 that’s an incredible pain in the butt, both for the 2-year-old and anyone within shrieking distance. On this night, with the stars above and a chubby hand in mine, it didn’t matter. I just wanted to be, to stay in Little Guy’s magical moment forever.
As we headed home, my headache was gone.
Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.