We’ve had 3 very interesting Halloween celebrations the past 3 years. In 2013, the babies were new, tiny, and in the NICU still. (How cute are these little dudes!) Big brother was Buzz Lightyear, and mostly had his fun without me, as I tended to the babies a couple of hours away.
2014, we were in a new-ish town, and L was in the PICU with daddy standing near. I was home, big brother was Spider man, and N and L both sort of dressed up. But we were split up, and due to not wanting to risk having N in the chilly air, we didn’t trick or treat at all.
2015 is weirder yet. In addition to 7 hours in a van, we’ve spent the day doing paperwork, interviewing about family history, talking with a geneticist, and topped it off with bloodwork for a party of 4. (Big brother thankfully, escaped that part). While I’m not obsessed with Halloween, or how it gets celebrated, I think this 3 year run is a good insight in to how our routine isn’t normal.
One of the questions I get the most when someone reaches out to me, especially if it is a pregnant or new mom, is how this is all impacting our 4 year old. Often, they too have a healthy older child, and are so frightened by how adding special needs and all of the demands that come with it in to the family will change the dynamic.
And it does. K should be walking the sidewalk on Halloween, with his biggest concern being the belly ache he’s getting from too much candy. In fact, exactly that happened in 2012!
But “should” and “typical” aren’t a reality for us very often. I’m not sure how he’ll remember this, or the prior Halloweens. He’ll likely remember being Optimus Prime. He might remember that he missed his class party because we had to spend the day at a hospital. He might remember that for the 2nd year in a row he didn’t go trick or treating. But I’m hoping he’ll remember that one way or another, we spent this one together and he was happy. That while we were at that hospital, we saw kids, staff, and family dressed up to make someone else smile. That L smiled while he told him 3 Little Pigs. That he was a good helper. That the lab nurse gave him a sucker for being a good brother. That maybe, just maybe, the real treat is in making someone else have a day worth remembering. And that fun doesn’t have to be normal.
Pictures from today: