I have figured out the answer to my question.

Earlier this month I was asking, “Why can’t I let this go?” in regards to Halloween. I read an article on Boston.com today and leave it to another parent to provide the answer.

Other than her wedding and the births of her children, said Diane Carfarelli, her happiest family moment remains Jack’s first go-out Halloween. “I always wanted him to have the childhood he deserves,’’ she said softly, when asked what having that experience meant to her, “even if I’m uncertain about his future.’’

*Tears* That’s just it exactly. I want that for Monkey too and every time one of these seemingly pointless rituals turns into a failure…I feel like I have failed him.

The article can be read here: Facing down fear, a treat at a time. School helps autistic children find some Halloween joy.

10 thoughts on “I have figured out the answer to my question.

  • October 30, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Ohhh, I love when I get to lecture you!

    Good Morning, Umma 🙂
    In all fairness, yes, my son loves Halloween. He loves costumes and loves to dress up all year round. With that said – you know what he hates? Walking up to doors and getting candy! Do you know what he loves? Sitting at home and passing it out!

    He hates to carve pumpkins. He hates that people walk through his grass (he gets that from me) but he loves to give out handfuls of entirely too much candy to trick-or-treaters.

    So, yes, ok, I guess he gets to “experience” Halloween. Does this mean I have succeeded and you have failed if Monkey doesn’t want to dress up or pass out candy? Um, hello? NO. Does this mean that Parker has better childhood experiences that Monkey? No.

    I seem to remember a wonderful train trip that this great family took not to long ago. I see pictures of trips to the lake, to the market, to a million places I could never take my son. Does this mean you succeed and I failed? No.

    What it means is that we both are giving our boys the very best memories and experiences of growing up. We are giving them the very best childhood that they deserve. How do we do this? We do it on their terms.

    Seriously, in the big picture – how relevant is trick or treating compared to that train ride?

    You want Monkey to experience and enjoy the childhood that HE deserves – keep doing what you are doing. Ride the trains, go to the market, go to Dunkin Donuts. Because THESE are memories, THESE are moments that he really gets to LIVE. He gets to ENJOY, he gets to CELEBRATE. And in the big picture – it’s THESE moments that make childhood great.

    Everyone has dreams, everyone wants the “normal”, everyone wants that perfect holiday for each one that crosses the calendar. That makes you normal. Having children, typical or special, makes you see that what you want – is rarely what they want 🙂 And that, my friend, makes us parents!

    Happiness and success is not measured by who can get their kid in the best costume – or in a costume period. It’s measured by the size of the smile on your child’s face. Every picture I flip through of Monkey on the trips you take – the smile I saw on him when I was at your home- lets me know, he IS experiencing the things that really makes him happy. And that makes you…. very successful.

  • October 30, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I love it when you lecture me too. You’re right, you’re right, you’re right. You should ask my husband how often those words pass through my lips.

    I’m pulling up my big girl panties and getting on with it. That was just about the shortest pity party in the history of ever…

    Thank you, I’m so lucky to have you in my life!

  • October 30, 2010 at 10:51 am

    “You’re right, you’re right, you’re right. You should ask my husband how often those words pass through my lips.”

    Ummmm…. Pretty much never!

  • October 30, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I was feeling bummed because my neighbor’s son, who is three months younger than my two year old twins, understands he will wear a costume and go to houses to get candy. UGH! He asked if my sons were going to go trick or treating and I wanted to say, REALLY!? REALLY!? You see where they’re at developmentally. Alexander isn’t even walking yet. I really love my neighbor. It just hurts sometimes to see his son. My husband tried to make me feel better by saying that our boys are much cuter than their son.LOL Being Russian, he thinks Halloween is the weirdest holiday ever. 🙂

  • October 31, 2010 at 9:02 am

    When Monkey was that young we’d dress him up anyway and just all sit on the front steps (weather permitting) and pass out candy. He wasn’t protesting costumes back then. Now…ugh. Next year I may try to figure out a costume that isn’t a costume, several people gave me ideas…but this year we’re going to “Grammy’s house” for a birthday party and will miss trick or treating anyway.

    AND, it IS a weird holiday. A friend on facebook pointed out that we’re dressing kids up and telling them to take candy from strangers!

  • November 1, 2010 at 9:04 am

    okay so how many times have I said to other families that they are not alone and yet I thought I was alone in this Halloween thing!! Lesson learned! After having a talk with another mom at my work about why we didnt put money under Logan’s pillow for the tooth fairy, I came to a startling realization. I didn’t try a lot of things for fear of disappointment FOR ME! We had never done the tooth fairy thing, never dressed up for Halloween so this year I decided to do both. Logan was very excited to see money under his pillow and did manage to dress up for Halloween but unfortunately dad tried a little too hard and was unwilling to compromise so it did turn into a small meltdown. I was fine with a cowboy wearing his blue crocks but thats just me! Anyway we did manage to make it 3 houses and they were houses that we know the people or have at least talked with them before. I was totally okay with that! Next year, we will do more. So all of us are out here just trying the best we can with all of our kids, special needs or typically developing and the most important thing to remember is that ALL kids are different and its just our job to help them grow up and have all these wonderful memories to take with them on their journey through life. We are all the products of our every experience and every person in our lives. To me, the definition of a good parent is one that loves their children no matter what.

  • November 1, 2010 at 9:21 am

    YAY! I’m so impressed that he recovered after a meltdown and did 3 houses. I think if crocs had been around in the old west the cowboys would have totally worn them, lol.

    I worry constantly about all sorts of things like this. I feel I owe it to him to try because he might surprise me but it’s CRUSHING when it goes badly. I’m sure my worry and stress come through to him loud and clear too which can’t help but it matters to me so much. I want him to have a full life. I want him to be able to go to school and join in the conversations…or at least have an idea what the other kids are talking about.

  • November 3, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    But he doesn’t know what he is missing. It is your memories of halloween you want him share, but quality time spent having fun with you and Dudhee instead of trick or treating will leave a more positive lasting impression than dragging him to something he doesn’t want to do… creating a bad memory where you only wanted pleasure. I bet there is a list of things as long as my arm that he doesn’t want to do that he will have to get used to in order to have a full and successful life (working, shopping, cleaning the catbox). There will be halloween again next year, I promise. I see the love you have for him shine thru your posts every day and I am so proud of you.

  • November 4, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I think he does know what he’s missing though. His receptive language is very good, he goes to school with a classroom full of kids who dressed up and went trick-or-treating. They talked about pumpkins and halloween and all those things at school. So he does know what’s going on and he knows he doesn’t do it. The Monday after, the kids came to school with stories of what they dressed as and how much candy they got and Monkey wasn’t a part of that.

    Part if it is definitely because I have great memories of it and I want those same things for him. Part of it is that parental issue of separating your likes and dislikes from your child’s. Part of it though is the truly legitimate concern I have that he’s missing out on activities/shared experiences that are the basis for forming friendships.

    The more removed he is from popular culture, the more different he is from the other kids his age, the harder it will be for him to have common ground to make that connection on. I know it seems silly to harp on Halloween because I agree it’s a pointless, ridiculous holiday but it’s a symptom of a larger issue.

    If he can’t share the experiences of birthday parties, holiday gatherings, cultural events, etc. how does he stand a chance of just being “one of them”?

  • November 6, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Ahhhh I forgot about the whole “other people in the world” thing. Carry on! 🙂


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