When John went away at the last-minute on Halloween. I understood he had to go but for Jack, Daddy not being home on Halloween was going to be a big deal. At least that’s what we thought. And of course there were tears when John told him that he wouldn’t be home to take him trick or treating. And all that morning he wasn’t himself.
John made some quick changes to our Halloween plans having his parents come over to hand out candy so that I could trick or treat with Jack and having his brother come over to wear the Robin costume that John would have worn. We made a fuss about taking our family Halloween picture before John left for his trip.
I got him ready for trick or treat and he was nothing but happy. He was thrilled when my brother-in-law put on the Robin costume. He was excited and happy and before I knew it any signs of the kid from the morning were gone, as he raced from house to house with his friends. My MIL went back to sit at the house and when Jack wanted to stay out and do a few more houses I sent my brother-in-law home. When we finished trick or treating Jack and I got our stuff together and walked to our neighbors Halloween party, where he played with the kids without a thought to where John was. And when we walked home that night he held my hand the whole way home.
And I was amazed by his resilience. I was amazed by how he made the most of the day, how he didn’t let John not being there ruin the night for himself, how he got so wrapped up in the fun of the night and forgot that he was even upset that morning.
I remember my Mom telling me that kids are resilient. That they get over things quickly. That they move on. And I didn’t always believe her. So, often we are convinced by Pinterest and Parenting articles that our kids life need to be perfect. That they need to be free of disappointment. That life should be one big Instagram stream of picture perfect memories. But that’s just not possible and it’s exhausting and stressful.
And often I stress myself out worrying about whether or not Jack will be disappointed. For 2 weeks I put off telling him that his best friends couldn’t come to his birthday party, but when I finally told him he said “that’s ok” and then rattled off all the names of his friends who were coming. I had stressed for nothing. And looking back it seems silly that I even worried about it.
Kids are resilient and as long as disappointment isn’t a constant, then the occasional disappointment shouldn’t be a huge deal. And while I don’t ever want to disappoint my son I know that a little disappointment is OK. And I like to think that while Halloween may not have been perfect we made the best of it and it may have even been Instagram-worthy.