Observations and Reflections from Halloween

Halloween was interesting.  This year, Jake he decided that he liked scary decorations and actually wanted to put some up in our yard.  I declined.  He wore a Chewbacca costume with a mask.  That he loved.  A mask!  Covering his entire face.  This is incredible to me.  His first Halloween he was a tiny baby and I put him in a tiger pajama set.  When he was one he wore a turtle outfit that was soft and warm and he had no choice about.  When he was two he wore a full monkey costume that I picked out again.  He didn’t love it, didn’t get it, and never wore it again.  Then when he was three and four he wore a hooded sweater with an animal print on it with no face paint and only my word that it was a costume.  Truly, he looked adorable, like adorable Jake in a sweater.  When he was five I carefully prepped him and set him up in a fireman outfit.  It was simple and easy and he practiced at home even a few times.

When he was three and four he didn’t once wear pajamas to preschool on pajama days.  He has never done his hair crazy on a crazy hair day.  He has not worn a career day costume, a twin day costume, or a hero day costume.

But this year he wore a full Wookie costume.  And he loved it.

Our little family had joyfully trick or treated to about 8 houses in the neighbourhood when he slipped on a patch of wet cement and fell down.  He dissolved in tears and lost all control, all joy, all peace, all hope of continuing.  He had to go home and spent the rest of the evening answering the door and handing out candy with his sweet Oma.

Aiden continued trick or treating another 40 minutes or so.  It was a blast.  He was so thrilled and we enjoyed the time with just him immensely.  I am getting better at seeing what Jake needs to be happy is just different, and that it is okay so long as he really is happy, and he was.

When they were reunited, the boys exchanged stories about the other trick or treaters they had seen and ate some treats.  Aiden had so much more candy that I poured all of it into one big bowl and declared it was for them both to share.  Mom’s word is law here, and they accepted it without any problem.  After all, they were eating candy.

I am left in awe and wonder at the whole event.  The differences between my two sons seem to be increasing right now.  Despite Jake’s growth, progress, and maturation, Aiden is always going to be the one who wants to be out later.  He will be the one who wants to join the baseball team, to go down the waterslide.  Aiden will be picking between girls in high school.  Aiden will be popular, confident, athletic and social.  Aiden will have three times as much candy.  Aiden will have a date for the dance.  Aiden will not need me like Jake does.  He will need me, but it will not be the same.

It’s a blessing, to be sure, that Jake is autistic and doesn’t notice all of this yet.  By the time Aiden notices, he will be older and I am praying, he will be deeply compassionate and loving towards his brother.  I am praying for a strong and true friendship between them, that when they get to middle and high school, that they can support each other, be friends with each other’s friends, and stand beside each other through their tough times.

Aiden hit the pillow Halloween night and fell asleep to peaceful dreamland instantly.  He’s so much like me.  Jake lay awake, replaying the day, I’m sure, and listening to us downstairs as we answered the door and continued to give candy to the stragglers.  He couldn’t sleep until I had told him what their costumes were.  They are so different, my boys.  And I love them both so much.

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