This year represented a pretty significant milestone for us. Like so many parenting milestones, it was begat not of careful thought and extended discourse, but by poor planning, chaotic lives and the lack of any other options.
This is the year I let Tristan carve the pumpkins. Well, two of the pumpkins. I’d cut off the top and gutted them and done a rather half-arsed and pathetic job translating Lucas’s illustration on to one of the pumpkins before running out of time (and perhaps enthusiasm) so Tristan may have been willing to take on the job just so I didn’t do any more damage to other unsuspecting pumpkins who deserved a better fate.
I’d like to tell you that he used one of those blunt and kid-safe pumpkin carving kits. I’d further like to tell you I hovered him, watching carefully how he handled the sharp paring knife.
Nope. I pretty much handed him the knife, warned him he’d have to clean up the mess if he cut off a digit, and went on making dinner and overseeing homework and unloading the dishwasher and keeping Lucas from terrorizing the dog too much and all the other insanity that usually happen between five and eight pm each evening.
To his credit, Tristan did a great job, and all ten of his fingers are still attached. He started small with a tri-force on the smallest pumpkin on the left in the photo below. (A tri-force is “something created by three different goddesses who created all the world and represents power, courage and wisdom.” It’s from the video game Legend of Zelda.) With elevated confidence, he took on a more complex design for the larger pumpkin. It’s the one on the far right.
In case you’re not well-versed in the lore of the Zelda video game, you probably don’t know that’s the pattern on Link’s hylian shield. You should, however, note that the same design appears on the shield in Tristan’s costume (also hand drawn and coloured by Tristan). He’s also carrying a wooden sword we rescued from the garbage (boy after my own heart) in much the same way Arthur drew Excalibur out of the stone, except Arthur’s sword didn’t need a good sanding and a coat of paint.
I’m pretty proud of all three boys for coming up with pretty much all the elements of their own costumes this year. Simon is “the Shadow” and Lucas is Wolverine. Lucas probably had the most help, but when gluing silver-painted popsicle sticks onto gloves is as hard as you have to work on a Halloween costume, it’s a good Halloween indeed.
So maybe this thing about the kids growing up and learning to do things for themselves isn’t so bad after all. And this parenting by benign neglect thing? I should have thought of this YEARS ago!
How was YOUR Halloween?