Bless This Year
Nor spell nor charm" - William Shakespeare
We bless this year for all we learned,
for all that we loved and lost...
Nothing is ever easy or simple in the lives of those affected by SPD. Even fun things like Halloween can pose challenges you've never dreamed of. Now that S is somewhat over his SPD tactile defensiveness, I was curious to see how he would respond to gutting a pumpkin - he still won't touch the goop. "It's yucky", he said. I, on the other hand, rather like squishing it, though the coldness turns my fingers white and stiff.
S wanted to make a cat pumpkin in honor of our amazing cat whom we deeply miss. Represent! It's Samhain, after all, time to celebrate the lives of those who have crossed over.
Our giant bird silhouettes were a huge hit (top photo) with the neighborhood kids, especially the gang that plays in our home and is familiar with all the birds nests that don our mantel and S's nature shelf.
A witches broom on the door to honor our soul sisters of the 1600s who suffered a horrific fate at the hands of ignorance and hysteria. Again, Represent!
I hid a boombox under a pile of leaves so that when the children approached our cauldron full of candy, they would be serenaded by the soulful sisters of Rising Appalachia - "Sandy Boys" on continuous loop, flickering paper lanterns lining our walk, and pumpkins aglow.
S seemed to tolerate the Halloween costume a bit better this year, though he did want to take it off several times. I said nonchalantly, "Costumes are what Halloween is all about, they're not always comfortable, but we just deal with it". So, he dealt with it. He seemed to enjoy all the compliments he received on our homemade Anglerfish masks, his favorite fish.
There were a few scary trick-or-treaters that sent S running behind a tree terrified. I asked one to remove his mask for a moment to remind S that it was just a costume. These scary costumes did not seem to bother any of his chums though.
It brought back memories of when he was 2 years old...we were at the bookstore for story time and someone was there dressed as a puppy. The sight of the giant humanoid pup sent S into a face first, duck n' cover, dive to the floor in terror. It was heartbreaking to see all the tots running over to hug the puppy character, while my son was trying to become one with carpet - petrified. I felt so badly for him.
While most kids grab their sugary loot and run, each time S approached a door, he would cautiously take one piece of candy. If there was an assortment, he took extra time to choose. Several times our neighbors encouraged him to take more than one piece. It was hard to keep up with his friends.
We kept trailing behind because S wanted to stop on the sidewalk and look at all his candy more closely. We reminded him that he could look at them afterward in the house when he would have more light. S was hoping to receive some gum. He's been obsessing about gum as he's never had it. Now that he's gotten past his SPD oral defensiveness, his brain is seeking this input. He's chewing on his sleeves, straws etc. S seems to have a subtle way of helping us help him. Like when he became fixated on a vibrating toothbrush. We bought it for him, and as it turned out it was the perfect input for his sensory diet. So, I'm thinking we should buy him some gum.
Once home, he emptied his pumpkin pail on the dining room floor and began organizing his loot. He had a difficult time deciding which piece he would eat that moment, which pieces he would keep, and which pieces he would give to the sugar fairy in exchange for a small toy. He giggled excitedly and said, "I'm rich of candy!"
Little does he know how sweet he is, and how rich my life is because of him.
Bless this year for all that we learned...