Noah and I have been anxiously counting down to last night. We sat together (nearly two months ago) and chose Halloween costumes from an online store. He chose Spiderman for himself and Superman for me. I couldn’t have picked anything better. The package arrived a few days later and we’ve been peeking inside ever since, giddy with excitement for what was to come. We fantasized about the massive stockpile of candy Noah would accumulate trick-or-treating. We got lost in many daydreams together of the father and son superhero duo we would become. We shared excitement over the friends and cousins that would be coming to celebrate with us. It was going to be, for lack of a better word, spectacular.
The big day was finally here.
Noah spent the afternoon bouncing from wall to wall in anticipation. Nap time arrived and I pre-lived the moments we would be sharing as incentive for him to go to sleep quickly. He laid quietly for some time, unable to force his brain activity to slow. I finally crawled into bed next to him and we both fell asleep together.
Suddenly, rapid tapping on the window awoke us. It was the last sound we both expected or wanted to hear, and certainly a sound capable of sucking away the excitement from us. It was rain. Constant and fierce rain. I opened the blinds and shook my head at the torrential downfall happening before us.
Noah whimpered. “Daddy, now we can’t go trick or treating?” Before his heartache could turn to tears, I assured him that lugging an umbrella along would keep the awesomeness of the afternoon intact.
We hopped out of bed and dove into the box we’d been waiting so long to infiltrate. Noah had no trouble locating his Spiderman costume. I helped him step into it and Velcro it up. We put on his mask, and I asked him to take a step back so Dad could see his awesomeness.
Apparently, his costume was sized for a cabbage patch doll.
He still felt powerful in it, repeatedly roaring his tiny lion’s roar despite my best efforts to educate him that Spiderman is a good guy who shoots webs.
After Noah was all duded up, we looked at my new costume. The first thing I noticed was the size listed on the package. XXXL. Hmmm… Being a size large, and having thought I ordered a size large, I was a little worried that I also might have some wardrobe issues to deal with.
I put on the costume. I might as well have put on some over-sized drapes. It drooped around my shoulders. The built-in six pack and massive pecs were a good seven inches wider than my actual frame. The pants refused to stay up, and certainly weren’t a nice tight fit like the man of steel would prefer. I never did take a picture of it like that because I was too busy trying to figure out how to keep it from being a total disaster. I had no safety pins, so I pulled out a box of large binder clips and jammed as much excess fabric into them as I could.
The end of it was something I thought worked okay. Until my friend showed up and said it looked like I was wearing “granny panties”.
Keep in mind these photos were taken after I gathered as much loose fabric as possible. Oh well. Granny panties or not, we were headed out.
We pulled out the large umbrella, traipsed out the door, and started across the front lawn. Immediately we were hit with a sideways pelting of cold rain. Our costumes began to soak through. The umbrella was doing little to protect us. Noah began crying. “Should we just drive to Nana’s?” I asked. He agreed and we quickly found shelter in Dad’s truck.
I won’t lie. We were feeling like less and less of superheroes as the night progressed.
We headed over to my mom’s place where every year she puts on the most spooktacular haunted barn. The only vehicle parked outside belonged to one of the town cops.
We again piledrove through the wet coldness, through the giant spider’s legs, and into the barn. A police officer was just leaving. Apparently my mom had finished setting up, left an enormous cauldron of full-size candy bars on the table, and went inside to change into her costume. When she came back ten minutes later, the cauldron was empty, leaving my mom the opportunity of handing out only kindness to the little angels and devils who braved the storm to get there. Luckily a quick scour by my mom found a few handfuls of goodies to add to the cauldron. Noah and I said goodbye and loaded back into the truck.
We headed home and I asked Noah if he wanted to try his hand at trick-or-treating again. He said yes, motivated by the candy Nana had just put into his sack. We pulled into our driveway, and raced across to the neighbor’s house. They gave Noah an enormous scoop of sweets. I asked him if he’d like to go do another. He clamped himself to my leg and declared he had run through enough rain for the evening.
We again sprinted home, and got ready for the party we were hosting. Noah stayed in his costume so that his friends and cousins could admire his superhero highwaters. Mine had become unmanageable, so I changed into unfun, unawesome, uncool everyday street clothes.
When all was said and done, it was still an AWESOME night. Even if the rain washed out half of my black hairspray, leaving me a gray-haired superdad.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing