The Joys of Childhood: Part 1

One of the great things about having kids is that you get to reexperience the innocent and unselfconscious joys of childhood. Halloween is to Will what Christmas is to other kids. It is his favorite holiday. By a mile.

The beginning of the school year initiates an endless stream of Halloween-related questions. “How many days until Halloween?” “Can we go to the Halloween store?” “Can I buy something scary at the Halloween story?” “When can we decorate the house for Halloween?” “Can we please please please go to the Halloween store tonight?” “Can we buy the zombie with the bolts in its head?” “Can we get some new Halloween decorations for the house?”

On Sunday, I took both boys to the Spirit Halloween store in Morris Plains. Will gathered up the money he had squirreled away from birthday and holiday gifts. A sum that was supplemented by the cash his nanny slips him on our trips to Youngstown to “buy ice cream for everyone when we got back to home” but which he promptly deposits into his “money basket.”

After a brief negotiation between Will and I, we agreed he could take $25 to the store. Before we left the house, he offered Lucas $15 of his remaining money since Lucey couldn’t find his money envelope. When Lucas looked a little confused, Will said “It’s OK Lucey because I will still have more money than you.”

The boys buzzed around the store for almost two hours. They couldn’t have been any happier if they were at Disney World. They tried on masks and costumes. They hit all the “Try Me” buttons on the animatronic spiders, monsters, and zombie babies. Will studied the prop zombies with the rapt attention of a religious scholar discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls. He explained every detail to me. And, then, he explained them again. And again. Lucas hollered to Will whenever he discovered something he thought his big brother would like.

Utter joy, for them and for me.

The results.

A Miles Morales Spiderman costume for Will.

A Slappy from Goosebumps costume for Lucas.

One scary clown doll courtesy of Will’s savings.

And, lots and lots of fun and joy.

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