It’s Saturday in the Robertson household, and so… I know what you’re thinking. You’re expecting a run down on the days soccer games and events, but… alas, Benjamin did not want to play today (because it was “too cold for his breathe”) and so… I agreed to cover Ryan’s shift at the disc golf shop and hang out with Ben, while Ryan and Jake hopefully lead the Wizards to a great game. Though I will be relentlessly bothering Ryan for details of the game, I am currently sitting in the shop, working on my blog between customers. And so, as promised, I have some free time to recap some of my favorite Halloween experiences with the boys throughout this month. I think starting at the beginning is just as good a place to start as any so…. Join me in thinking all the way back to Halloween, 2003. It was a simpler time then, as I had only one child to chase after, and really, he could only crawl so fast. The economy hadn’t taken such a sharp downturn as of yet, and at that time in my life, I was working tons of overtime, so I had a little extra money to put towards a costume, even if little Jacob was too young to be trick or treating. I had my mind set on a bumble bee costume of some sort for him, because even though Jacob was not able to speak enough to sing along, he found himself at his happiest when listening to Laurie Berkner’s “Bumble (Buzz Buzz)” song. Knowing that it was one of the earliest preferences he had ever shown towards any entertainment, I thought this would be a fun thing to dress him as.
I searched local stores and the internet trying to find a great costume at a reasonable price. Luckily, my search didn’t last too long or take too much time. In fact, my search abruptly ended when my mother brought over a pumpkin sleeper/costume she had found while she was out and about. She kept reassuring me that I didn’t have to use it, she just thought she’d grab it for me, and it was a great deal, and this and that…. but the truth is, there’s no way I couldn’t have used it. The moment I saw the cute little hat attached, I knew Jacob’s first Halloween should be a classic one, and there was no cuter costume than the one I had right before me.
This costume was a cute little orange sleeper, essentially, painted to resemble the traditional Jack O’ Lantern, classic but not scary, and very appropriate for a newly mobile infant. The neck line of the sleeper was accented with a cute green leafy appearing cotton, giving the effect of pumpkin leaves, and the whole ensemble was complete with an orange and cap, adorned with a small stem. It was darling, and it was made bearing in mind the age of the child who would be wearing it, so the costume was cute and comfortable for Jacob to move around in.
We live in a really friendly neighborhood, and so I had considered taking Jacob to a few houses just to say hello on this particular Halloween, (in other words, show off how darn cute he was in his new pumpkin get up), but the weather was chilly, and Jake was starting to spark a fever. Instead of visiting the surrounding neighbors, Jacob and I sat at our front door, on his special soft crawling mats (to absorb the hard wood floors that he refused to crawl on) and awaited the children to come and visit. I had a big plastic container full of various treats nearby, and Jake and I would hand them out to the eager ghosts, ghouls, princesses and cowboys that would show up at our door. Jake also found it amusing to empty the entire treat bucket all over the floor and refill it frequently, but eventually, he just gave into the fever that he was getting and became very lethargic. By the time the trick or treating hours came to a close, Jacob had a full on high grade fever. After a few doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Tylenol) to no avail, our night came to a close in the emergency room. At least I got to show Jacob off to my friends, as these were the most common people for me to hang out with while I was working all those aforementioned call hours… (And I’m quite sure that they were taken with him because he looked so darned adorable, not because they were the people I hung out with regularly when I was working all that overtime…I’m also not at all biased. What mother would be?)
It was a good thing that I had made such good friends with the nurses, doctors and support staff in our ER, because I was a complete mess with Jacob’s fever being so high. For the first time in my life, I knew the terror of having something so precious that it would ruin you to lose it, and that fear was almost paralyzing for me. The emergency room staff was so fantastic that they calmed me down, reduced his fever somewhat and sent me home with a list of symptoms to watch for and a number to call if anything new arose.
After four days of high fevers and lethargy, Jacob’s fever broke, and I felt a sigh of relief, until I changed his diaper. Almost as instantly as the fever receded, his skin gave way to a spotty red rash all over his body. Again, terrified, I called his pediatrician, thinking for certain there we were bound to be heading back to visit my friends working at the ER any moment. As it turned out, my pediatrician was relieved that the spots had shown up, as at that point the most likely diagnosis was that of Roseola, which was common mostly benign childhood illness. Just as he reassured, Jacob got back his energy back and his spots faded, and life returned to normal.
I learned from this experience that there is no ghost, no goblin and no gore so terrifying as the innocence and vulnerability of your favorite person at your fingertips.It was also a subtle reminder to cherish the little things like pumpkin costumes and spilled candy while you can, because no thing aspect of life is guaranteed and beyond resilience. But, now having a healthy 2nd grader to play with, it’s easy to look back fondly and remember my cute little boy, sweetening up Halloween for the the city around us. He was most certainly the cutest little pumpkin in the patch!