I love Halloween! It is by far my favorite holiday. You see, while I was raised a Christian, I practice a more pagan style of spirituality. Samhain is the end of the harvest season and the beginning of a new year. Many of the traditions associated with modern Halloween have their roots from old pagan beliefs. "What?", you may ask. Well, for example, the carving of a pumpkin is one. Carving the pumpkin invites only good spirits into your household. The dressing up in costumes is to help scare away any evil spirits. We are ready to snuggle in for the winter as the earth goes to sleep. We hope that our harvest has been good enough to sustain us until rebirth in the springtime. Don't tell anyone, but one year I even set a place at the table for my late grandparents hoping they would show up for a friendly visit. They didn't show up. Oh well...sigh! I love this holiday!
To bad Sir Dantes doesn't.
I thought all children loved Halloween! Come on! You get to dress up, go get candy, stay up a little late, eat candy. What's not to love about Halloween? Scary, plastic masks with blood, black-light skulls, blinking eyes in the dark...that's what he doesn't love. I can't even take him down the costume isle at Target without him freaking out.
I started decorating the house on October 1st. He didn't really seem to mind most of the decorations, which mainly consist of straw people and goofy looking skeletons. But the big, black fuzzy spider...no way! He did not like the fuzzy spider. I hung it anyway. This past weekend we first went to go buy costumes. "Hurry Ms. Maxie and pick one out! Your brother is starting to have a meltdown. Let's go!" Then we were off to the pumpkin farm. Everything was good there until we decided to take them into the kiddie haunted barn.
A little barn with a maze, some black-lights, some semi-scary scenery...Sir Dantes starting screaming and his daddy had to pick him up and run him through. Which really was bad, especially since he had the small pin flashlight and Ms. Maxie and I were left in the dark to fumble around. We made it out alive, and she loved it. So, it appears that we will not be able to take him trick-or-treating this year. Again.
Last year we didn't take him because we were afraid of his running off. The place we go to trick-or-treat is down by the old town square and the huge plantation style homes are lavishly decorated with all sort of creepy, scary, ghoulish things. It attracts hundreds of people every year. So, losing him was a real possibility that we decided to not risk. While he is still a "runner", he has improved a lot and I had hoped that we could all go as a family this year. But, as scared as he as shown himself to be...I think not. Daddy and Sir Dantes will stay home, and Ms. Maxie and I will go. We have friends that will meet us, but is just not the same.
I hope that it is a phase and Sir Dantes will outgrow his fear. Who knows how the lines of fantasy and reality blur in the mind of a non-verbal autistic child. At times he would prefer to look into and study the faces of cartoon characters instead of us, but when it comes to plastic arms and faces covered with blood, he doesn't want to look. He also didn't like seeing the fish on the hook. Maybe he is just very emphatic to things he feel are in pain; real or unreal. That I need to celebrate.
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