Last October, we told my older son that it was his last year of trick-or-treat. It wasn’t like he didn’t enjoy it, but he’d outgrown the costumes at Party City. My wife had concocted a Harry Potter ensemble that my older son loved and we made sure that we hit every house in the neighborhood. While walking the neighborhood, we talked about what Halloween 2009 would be like. My son mentioned he wanted to play escort and take his little brother around.
As this October drew closer, he often mentioned his role in taking care of his little brother. He wanted my wife and I to have a night to our own. As much as I appreciated his consideration, I knew I had to go. Unfortunately, the scariest people out on Halloween are sometimes not in costume. My older son debated with me vociferously, but as Dad I drew a line in the sand.
When this Halloween rolled around, my 12-year old made one last impassioned plea. I agreed to follow from a distance, but knew I would keep them in my sight. He could still escort his little brother. And, as it was raining, his little brother needed someone with an umbrella to keep the candy dry.
So, as my younger son, Bakugon (Japanese anime), went door-to-door, my older son had a quandary. The adults tried to give him candy, too. He initially refused it. (He didn’t have a bag.) But he finally gave in and began accepting the offerings, stuffing them into his pockets. When his pockets filled up, he gave them to me or dropped them in his little brother’s bag. When adults asked him what his costume was, he told them he was dressed as “Dad.”
After we got home, my wife suggested we might have made a mistake. There were many older kids, dressed in costume, who came to our house. My wife thought we’d aged our oldest out too early. Maybe next year, he could go door-to-door again.
My older son didn’t mind. He doesn’t like candy that much anyway. (And my younger son gets to ring the bell at every house.) However, for my older son, he tells me he got to be one of the things he wants to be when he grows up—he got to be Dad.