Thursday, October 26, 2006

But mommy, you might be mad!

Cody went to a costume party today that one of the children from pre-school had at his house. All the kids were invited, and even though I have some reservations about Halloween in general, I had no qualm about sending him. What bad can come of spending a couple hours at his friend's house in his Spiderman costume? So, I dropped him off, kissed him good-bye and got Caden the nap he desperately needed.

When I picked him up later and asked him how it went and did he have fun, his eyes filled up with tears, and the conversation went as follows:

"I don't want to tell you about the skeleton game!" (sniff, sniff)

"It's okay, honey, you can tell me. I won't be mad."

(desperately hoping there's nothing to be mad about...)

(more gasping, sniffing)

"It's just....just..."

"Honey, I promise I won't be mad. If you're honest with me and you tell me the truth, I won't be mad at you!"

(looks over at Caden in his seat, as if wishing Caden could tell me instead)

(more sniffing)

"Well....there was this skeleton head thingy..."


"Never mind, mommy...I'll tell you about the other stuff we did."

"No, Cody...tell me now."

(starting to get agitated and wishing I could stop the car so I could eyeball it with him)

"Well, we were passing it around..."


"and...and...(more gasping, sniffing)"

"it's okay honey, just say it."

"Blood shot out of it's head!!!!"
(the tears are now rolling down my little one's cheeks)
"Real blood?"
"No mommy, fake blood! It was part of the game!"

(crying, sniffing, more crying)

"And this is what you thought I'd be angry about?"

"Yes, I thought you were gonna spank me!"

"Why? Because you were playing a game with a bloody skeleton head? Why would I be mad about that?"

(Relief overcomes mother, gratitude fills child now that he knows he won't be spanked)

"Because, mommy, you hate that stuff!"

Yes, the kid has a point. I do. And he knows it. We tell him we don't mind him getting dressed up in his costume, going trick or treating with us or even eating candy (that is, as soon as we get his teeth fixed), but he knows we disapprove of all the not-so-nice things about Halloween. We know many families in our church, for example, who choose not to participate in the Halloween festivities at all, because it is a "holiday" rooted in pagan tradition. Cody knows that he will never see witches, ghosts, skeletons or goblins on our front porch, but instead pumpkins, friendly looking scarecrows, and mums. Last year I handed out goodie bags that had a little tag telling them Jesus loves them. We participate because it's an outreach to our neighborhood and a way for Cody to begin to safely discern the difference between fall fun and stuff that just doesn't feel, well, right.

It was also another opportunity to help my little four year-old boy understand what we are called to as Believers. We constantly tell him that the Lord has commanded us to teach and train him and that we will continue to do our job. This little episode today was eye-opening for us both...I can't be there all the time to protect and shelter my children from the things of this world, and he needs to know that even when he's confronted with it, he can tell me the truth and we'll walk through it together. Icky skeleton head games and all.


Glass Half Full said...

Had to chuckle at that, but you are so right!!!!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

We don't celebrate Halloween, but Noah goes to public school, so he hears about it and even does Halloween related homework, etc. That is fine- we are ok with that as long as he knows what we really believe. I celebrated it growing up, but my husband's family didn't.

We've just decided to forgo it here, but I do think that if you instill your values into your children, that is all that matters!