I was recently contacted by Abby Brayton- Chung about doing a guest post for her blog, Notes From a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Abby lives in New England and she blogs to share information and resources with other pediatric OTs as well as their clients. She wondered if I would be interested in contributing to the Parent's Perspective section on her blog. What a great opportunity to reach out to other parents and professionals. Here's what I shared:
Halloween is not one of my favourite holidays. The weather is usually questionable and that lovin' feeling I once had for costumes and all things dress-up, well, I've lost it. But, I braved the sloppy, wet, conditions and took one for the team (for the kids' sake). Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge kids for being super excited, candy seekers, running from house to house in pure exhilaration. Halloween is a right of passage for them. But I'm not a kid anymore so I reserve the right to express my feelings about the sugar high holiday. When the night was all over I reflected on my time spent traipsing around our neighbourhood with my three kids and I found I had a better appreciation of my not-so-favourite holiday. Thanks in no small part to Super Mario...er...Carter, I was able to see things in a new light. One of Carter's greatest hidden abilities is that he can make you take a different perspective on things. He puts a new spin on the everyday that can be quite liberating. So, on that dark and stormy night, I came away with a lot more than just mounds of treats and a 24 hour sugar rush, I came away with a reminder of some of life's important lessons...
1. Less is More. Not everyone is in it for the loot. Carter didn't even want to carry his treat bag. He left that job up to me. He signed 'more' after every house we visited but he didn't mean that he wanted more sweets and treats, he meant, 'Let's keep going because this is fun!' But of course! That's because... 2. It's all about the experience. For Carter, it wasn't about being first to each neighbour's door or getting the most candy (see #1, re: me carrying his treat bag). He was just thrilled to be a part of the adventure. He was wearing a costume and he was going out with his siblings for some nighttime fun in the neighbourhood. When we arrived back home at the end of the night, J & T sorted through their bags and they made sure to tell their Dad about everything they got. Carter, well, he tapped his chest in a 'me too' gesture and pointed to his bag to ensure Dad knew that he took part. Then he promptly abandoned his loot and that was that.
3. Take time to notice the little things. An animal lover at heart, Carter was much more interested in seeing the pets at each house we visited than getting candy from the adults at the door. So much so that he almost went in to a few houses to give the dogs a rub to say hello. 4. Be happy with what you've got. In his homemade Super Mario costume, Carter actually looked more like a hip hop artist at a Farm-Aid concert, but in his mind he was Super Mario and it seemed that he could've cared less what anyone thought of his costume. He had on his overalls, his red shirt and red ball cap. There was a masking taped 'M' on his hat (the best I could do without spending a ridiculous amount of money on an authentic Super Mario hat that would be worn once). The smile on his face said it all and it completed his costume. We'd all do well to take a different perspective now and again and I'm glad that Carter reminded me that... 5. Sometimes it's all in how you look at things.