I wish I could take a holiday, but it is Friday and this post must be written. Authors note, usually I write these with enough time to do a printed line edit, but I had to skip it for this post because of time constraints.
This past weekend, between ominous amounts of rain, we managed to take Felix to the pumpkin patch! He behaved himself better than most college revelers, or rioters, but still brought that “I’m gonna do what I want” attitude that is quite charming on babies. This was, what I will consider his second look at celebrated American Holidays. The first one, also coinciding with his first sleepover, was the 4th of July.
On the 4th we were concerned that the loud fireworks would scare him, or keep him up, but neither of those happened. The festivities of fireworks start so late that he was plenty tired when my Mom’s street put on their annual 4-hour show of carnage and eggy farts (Seriously, who puts the fart powder in fireworks?). Felix was outside for only a bit of the show, and would look up to the sky, with an unimpressed look on his face as colorful fireworks exploded in the dark and powder stained night. We were very impressed. When Michelle took him inside to sleep he fell right to sleep, fell right to sleep for a baby. That was his first 4th of July, I think he would say, “Didn’t suck.”
True, holidays do exist between the 4th and Halloween, but none are observed quite like them. Or we personally don’t observe them quite like the 4th and Halloween. No offense intended to holiday enthusiasts.
At the pumpkin patch we had no concerns about loud noises and fear, just about the rain. Felix handled the experience very well. He enjoyed a little Sugar Pumpkin that he held onto for most of the day, and tried to keep it covered in drool believing that was how one obtained ownership of the pumpkin. Luckily, his Nana later bought it for him, “I bought him his FIRST pumpkin!” she gloated. My mom is cool like that.
He helped get his cousin out of an overly long photo shoot. They looked adorable sitting together on a wicker bench staged with all the rustic fall dressings, so we were all snapping photos. Soon though he had enough, looked right at her and said, “I’ll get us out of this.” and then turned to us screaming and crying. End of photo shoot.
“Thanks Felix.” -Cousin E.
Now that Felix is older, he is able to take in the environment more, and I mean that beyond his ability to grasp objects and put them in his mouth. We walked him through the animal pins, and he was impressed by the larger animals. This was shown through grunts, huffs, smiles, bounces and reaching out for the animal. Felix is quite the cat wrestler, number one in the league, and when he reached out for the mini-donkey, he had the same look in his eyes that he gets right before wrestling a cat. Good luck buddy, that donkey is out of your weight class. It was mostly the bigger animals that he liked, the ducks and the baby chickens just didn’t cut it. Mostly, I believe, because Felix thought a wrestling match with them would be so one sided as not to be worth it.
Felix is at an age where he can do way more than ever before, and this will only continue to become more true, but it makes him intent on being part of the experience. While Michelle and I enjoyed an ear of roasted corn, my Mom had to work hard to keep Felix entertained. After I finished my cob I gave it to Felix and he pretended to feed it to Michelle mimicking what he saw us doing. It was a reminder that at times his frustration is from not being included, especially those times when he’s not included for safety reasons, when all he wants to do is learn and understand why or how we do the things we do. Knowledge and understanding are two admirable qualities to get worked up about.
The pumpkin patch was just one part of the Halloween ritual. We still need to paint the two pumpkins we picked up, hopefully this weekend, and Michelle is working hard on some homemade costumes. She’s going to be a wizard (the classic stars on robe kind), I’m going as Black Jesus (because the new show on Adult Swim is amazing) and Felix is going to be a Leprechaun (he’s a short guy with red hair, slamdunk!). The hidden joke here is: a wizard, Black Jesus and a Leprechaun walk into a bar, only one of them is real. Our costumes are super leveled!
We’ll be showing Felix off at Michelle’s work and then heading to my moms so he can see real trick-or-treaters, as they still go door-to-door in her neighborhood. It seems so odd to go trick-or-treating at the mall. We grew up in an apartment complex and basically you would have a solid line/parade of kids going door-to-door, I remember parents just standing in the doorway during the peak hours as their was never a break in the line. As we grew older our boundaries increased and we would go off the complex. The neighborhoods were vast, but word-of-mouth, and Halloween legend, would always spread about where to get the best and biggest candy so we would make a mad dash for those blocks.
(INCOMING RANT) I was one of those kids who was asked, “Aren’t you a little old to be trick-or-treating?” To which my answer is and always will be: No sir, or madam, I am not. Furthermore, in a day and age when too many kids abandon childhood early for young adulthood we should encourage those who chose to remain in the blissful state of childhood longer than their peers. So when you come to my door, if you are a teenager who has taken the time to prepare a costume and say “Trick-or-treat” I will gladly give you candy, with no judgement and no condescending remarks before acquiescing to your request out of fear of your trick reprisal. Because, like you I was a 15 year old trick-or-treater. I know the slings you suffer from friends who are now too cool for kids stuff, and rude adults jealous of the longevity of your Halloween career. Yes, they look back and think damn, look at this kid, I could have gotten two, maybe three more good years of trick-or-treating, why did I listen to my a-hole friends? Why?!?! So no, you are never too old to go trick-or-treating during regulation hours of Halloween night. (END RANT)
No more door-to-door is a sad loss for childhood, and commentary on the state of child safety here in the US, but maybe that’s being too judgmental. Maybe once I get in the groove of getting free candy from stores and business’ I’ll think it’s pretty awesome and incredibly safe. Because no corporation has ever betrayed the public’s trust, right?
Whatever the case, I can’t wait for Felix to get the real Halloween experience, that is, of course, collecting ludicrous amounts of candy anyway you can. That day is far off, but we’re giving him the solid indoctrination he needs to make it a reality.