What a wonderful weekend! Thanks to Lizzi for her Ten Things of Thankful. Her blog today focuses on goal-setting and happy endings. We had one goal (Stay With Me!) and a happy ending (no one died) when I took 3 kiddos trick-or-treating yesterday. Two of the kids have special needs, Kelli in a wheelchair and Christopher on the autism spectrum.
Christopher was a delightful, marathon-worthy, dancing machine who responded so well to “Stay with me!” He raced every other kid to the doorways, taking some residents by surprise as he slipped into their houses uninvited. One guy said, “Hey buddy! You can’t come inside!” as Christopher investigated an interesting spider decoration in the foyer. At another house, he spotted a fascinating dog, also worthy of a trip into someone’s house. All that homeowner managed was, “Whoa! Whoa!” as he grabbed his dog (which had followed Christopher back outside). Christopher was also honest to a fault, returning candy if he got more than other trick-or-treaters.
Kelli was a champion, not even screaming as I barely managed to control her wheelchair down our driveway. Did you know that it takes as much energy to control a wheelchair on a downward slope as it takes to push it uphill? Our entire neighborhood is hilly and EVERY house is at the top of a steep driveway, with steps to the doorway. Kelli and I waited patiently as kind neighbors brought us the loot. At first, some folks thought her wheelchair was a prop, but one look at the sweat dripping off my face was rather convincing. Or maybe it was my strained expression….
Waiting for the loot with Kelli gave me a much-need opportunity to catch my breath. My end goal was simple: wear out the skeleton by running the wheelchair as fast as possible. I had stripped off my jacket within 5 minutes and wanted to take off everything else, including my glasses, 5 minutes later. I used muscles that doctors haven’t yet discovered. At the bottom of our street, the boys were on the ropes. Everyone except Kelli was drenched with sweat and my dancing skeleton had slowed to a crawl.
I got a second wind as we made our way back up the hill, but the kiddos were sagging. Christopher had stopped saying, “This is the best day of my life!” and his brother was bemoaning that the Halloween “holiday season” was almost over. When I ran Kelli into the back of the ninja’s heels, Kelli noted that her wheelchair had given him a vampire bite. “Vampire bites” proved to be even more effective than “stay with me!” Go figure.
The most uncomfortable moment for me came as we were nearly home. As we veered into yet driveway, Christopher called out loudly, “Is this our home?” I told him we weren’t there yet and earned the stares of parents who obviously wondered if I was a kidnapper. After watching me propel the wheelchair up the driveway, hearing our ninja screech “vampire bites!” and seeing Christopher open the front door himself, no one was interested in challenging my ownership of this group.
Home at last, we shared our goodies with Darth and Belle, who had unaccountably decided to skip the adventure. Whew!