Now, everything matters…the time of day, the amount of people around, the noises…so many noises, the smells, the colors, other kids, how long since our last meal, how long we’ve been awake…EVERYTHING matters… exponentially more than it ever did before.
So now we’ve arrived at the first holiday of the season…Halloweeeeeeeeeeners! It’s AMAZING to think about just how much the meaning of this holiday has changed for me over the course of my life… As a baby: so scary and unpredictable. As a toddler: so exciting and full of mystery. As a kiddo: so sweeeeeet and sugary. As a teenager: so mischievous and daring. As a college student: so sexy and competitive. As a young adult: so wild and out of control. As a new Christian: so silly and foolish. As a new parent: so sweet and hopeful. As new father of a child with Autism: so frustrating and heartbreaking. As a Son-Rise Daddy: so what? …and SO
Tonight, we were in a bit of a dilemma. Our son Koa (neurotypical) was now 2.5 and ready to experience his first Halloween as a little person. What I mean by that is now he is really aware of what’s going on in the world and he truly has his own personality and really knows what
he wants and doesn’t want. This means the holidays will have more meaning for him than they ever did before because he’s not a little baby being carted around from house to house, party to party, not really knowing why or what we’re doing. For all these reasons we wanted more than ever to take him trick or treating, or at the very least, to the neighborhood block party
On the other hand, our little Ka’eo is not at all ready for that. He would be completely overwhelmed at any type of party, he wouldn’t want to keep walking from house to house, he’d very likely end up stimming with the very first pile of gravel or patch of grass he sees on the
sidewalk. So we absolutely weren’t going to take him out of the serenity and safety of our home tonight. So what do we do?
Well, we decided it would be fun for Koa and Mommy to go for a little while to the neighborhood
Halloweenie block party and I would stay home with Ka’eo.
Mommy and Koa left the house and there I was in my Halloween costume (an old faded Ghost Busters t-shirt) with my little angel, Ka’eo Jr, sweetly humming and dropping paper in front of his eyes in the corner of our living room.
I whispered to him that I was going to his playroom and I would love it if he would come play
with me when he was ready. At that I left him and went into his Son-Rise playroom. A few moments later I heard the pitter patter of little feet behind me.
“Hi Ka’eo! Thank you for coming to see me! I love you!” I exclaimed. He smiled as he stared past me and gave a sweet little squeal as he sat by the door of the room, not quite committing to the idea yet.
I picked up his little plastic toy magnet squares he’d stacked expertly in a row. I tossed one between on us on the carpet…”Woah!” I said with a smile.
Ka’eo looked at the square with curiosity.
I tossed another between us, “Woah!” I said again with a snicker. He looked up at me and
quickly back down to the new square. I did it again and waited…
“Woo” he said and looked at me again.
“Yes!” I celebrated and quickly tossed another square toward him. The anticipation was painted on my smiley face.
“Woah” he said with more confidence.
“That’s right!” I proclaimed and threw another square into the pile…it clicked onto one of the previous magnets squares on the floor. Seeing this Ka’eo quickly scrambled over to it, separated the two pieces, and sat back down ready for the game to continue.
He looked at me again and I began to say “W..” he interrupted me with a loud “Woah!”
“Yes! Woah! Throw! You said it!” I answered and quickly tossed another square out.
Ka’eo giggled with understanding. “Throw!” he commanded.
“Throw? Okay Daddy throw!” as I tossed another out towards him.
“Throw Daddy!” he sang to me and then he jumped up and ran over to me.
I grabbed him up quickly and gave him a kiss. “Tickle me,” he said through his teeth as he braced in anticipation.
“Daddy Tickle!!!” I shouted and our game was on! We spent the next half an hour laughing and tickling and wrestling with each other in such love and happiness.
After so much fun, he ran back over to his pile of ripped paper, scooped it up and said, “come on”. I agreed and followed him back to his little corner of our living room and we sat down together to join in sweet meditation as he skillfully picked up his tiny pieces of paper and watched them fall through his gaze. I sat in front of him, our feet touching at the toes and dropped my own little pieces.
We built a bridge into his blissful world. I wondered what it was he loved about this so much and knew whatever it was, it was healing. I drifted back into my own rhythm, watching the tiny pieces of paper fall gently to the ground like snowflakes.
Mommy and Koa came home shortly thereafter. She told me how crowded it was but worth it to see little Koa make friends with a cute little Minnie Mouse near the kids games. Koa looked so cute in his Blue’s Clues Steve outfit.
I’m glad Koa got to experience Halloween this year with Mommy. For me, well…I believe this was the best Halloween I’ve ever had, connecting with my little man in ways, for a time, I never thought possible. Truly, happiness is a choice, and I’m so thankful God has shown me how to find it.