Photographs from Trick-or-Treating for Halloween:
Unfortunately, I have to say that this was one of my least favorite Halloweens ever. Thane was so contrary and out of sorts, and Braeden was pretty ambivalent about it all. Braeden was cheerful, don’t get me wrong, but he just didn’t seem that interested in hooking up with friends from school, his old school, or even the kid who seems like his closest friend. Instead he chose to be with us and with Thane, and then to meet up with friends for a hayride at the local Baptist church. He stayed with them and went home with them for a while before coming home at 9 p.m.
The day was pretty mellow before Braeden and I went to pick up Thane at school. I sent Braeden in to get him, but got out of the car when I heard Thane crying and screaming. He wasn’t hurt; he just didn’t want to leave with us. The hard thing is that it really had nothing to do with me or with Braeden, but it sure felt like it. I wanted to cry because I felt really hated at that moment. I felt like his teachers must think we take him home and beat him and then stuff him in the closet with duct tape over his mouth.
The teacher who was trying to help him transition ended up being knocked off balance by Thane as he tried to hide behind her. There were also a couple of parents going through to get their kids too, so I felt rather on display (though the moms were perfectly nice and supportive, it is still so uncomfortable when your child is yelling that you don’t love him).
In some respects, we were lucky. Thane went to knock on a door and the lady opened it before he got there. He was about to fall apart, so she quickly closed the door and let him knock. It’s nice to run into someone who is both insightful and accommodating. Dave said he did need to explain to some people that his autism made some of this difficult – he wanted to do it, but he didn’t necessarily want to accept candy from everyone. I do wonder if it was worth it or not. Just as I wonder if it is worth even trying to go on the Polar Express. When Braeden was younger we did anything and everything to make his holidays special and fun. With Thane, sometimes it feels like our efforts to have him even participate in holiday activities is a form of torturing him. I think the hardest part is that one can’t always predict when he will have fun and love the effort, or be miserable and totally stressed. And am I totally dumb that I can’t figure yet when to push and when to just stay home and let him do his thing.
At the end of the night, Thane ended up having one of the cameras we took with us fall and hit him in the cheek as he was being difficult about getting out of the car – so now he has a big bruise that might look like it confirms how evil I am. Dave’s reaction – toward the camera – was frightening to me, so at that point I finally broke down in tears and declared it the worst Halloween.
I suppose I should end on a good note . . . The church did a really nice job with their festival – Braeden had fun. I also have to give kudos to the local fire department and the King Solomon’s Lodge. They had a nice set up in town where they gave out bags of treats, light up necklaces, maze pens, and allowed the children to enter a contest to get a ride to school on the fire truck. Braeden took down his carved pumpkin from Cub Scouts and it was lit and placed on the fire truck – which I have to say looked really cool! I doubt either boy would actually get a ride to school on a fire truck since neither goes to school in town, but it was nice to see such a nice community effort. Definitely a bright spot in an otherwise lousy Halloween.