Where This Meets That
My family is currently in the midst of our peak celebration season.
My oldest and youngest children both celebrated birthdays last week. Over the next month, we’ll celebrate the birthdays of my wife and then my oldest daughter, not to mention the festivities of Halloween and Thanksgiving. After that, it’s full tilt Christmas.
So, this is a joyous time, a time to honor most of those closest to me. This time of year, I’m especially drawn back to my first meetings with three of my children: their first crowning from my wife’s very Christ-like self-gift; their first breaths and cries; their first hazy glances around our world of new lights and beeps and buzzes; and their first, warm recognition of those voices they’d heard their whole lives in the coziness of their mother’s womb: our voices.
Occasionally today, in light of all the doom & gloom of the looming 2012 hype, my kids ask me if I think the world will end in our lifetime. I answer that the world ends every day but that, more importantly, it is also reborn every day. The world was created anew with each of my children’s births, as it is with every new life. My own life was renewed with each of their births, as it continues to be each day I watch their lives unfurl. They, in turn, never fail uncover some little perspective of the world that had until now escaped me.
This weekend, we will see their imaginations peeled back for all to see as they don their capes and fake muscles, laser guns and toy sabers. Inject a big fat injection of Halloween sugar, and you have one of the most magical nights in a child’s year.
My oldest son is at a crossroads this year, not sure whether he should dress up or not, and if so, whether he should trick-or-treat or not. My youngest son has absolutely lived for this Halloween since last Halloween ended. My oldest daughter is playing this one freeform, seeming set to improvise some motley garb at the last minute. And my youngest daughter, having just turned a year old, will think it’s all just a strange, bad dream where she is a bumble bee going from unfamiliar door to unfamiliar door with inhuman faces greeting her at each. She will never even question her role as the worker bee as she brings in all the sweets for Mom and Dad bee to eat.
Don’t judge me!
At 37, I am roughly still 1/3 child myself, and I join my kids in loving this cool little holiday. This year, I will dress as Dora the Explorer but with bull horns and a bull ring through my nose. The punch line: I am going to be “A Dora Bull”; adorable, isn’t it?
Our children represent our hope for this world in all its vibrancy. They are our future unbridled by past, our imagination liberated from logic, and our innocence reborn in its purest form. As a general rule, children are the very best people the world has to offer, and I’m so thankful we have them! But just as we are there for them to learn from, so should we learn from them. To that end, Halloween is a great place to start!