Tonight when all the little ghosts, goblins, Marvel superheroes, and minecraft blockheads are tripping from house to house threatening candy or else, my children (the three left who trick-or-treat, that is) will not be amongst them.
No. I am not against Halloween as a fun night for my kids to dress like crazies and go begging for candy.
Our oldest son has a football game, and if you’ve been reading along, you know my bemoaning at missing the last one—holy moment induced by Curious George’s quirky laugh or not. I was ready to fight for tonight’s game.
But, somehow, I knew I wouldn’t have to fight despite Superman’s over-exuberant affection for all things All Hallows Eve….
“So, you realize that Dubs has a football game on Halloween,” I lightly mention several nights ago. I am looking at him with a little smile on my face—I can only imagine how snarky it looks. He reads me well.
“They can dress up to go to the football game. That’s just fine with me,” he responds without missing a beat.
Now to break the news to the triplets.
I ponder…Do I let them down gently? Do I compensate by taking them for a Halloween treat and promise them goodies of their own?
None of these fit my no-nonsense parenting style. But somehow I think my strict German-leaning, overly-pragmatic approach to life won’t quite cut it this time.
So I sabotaged them and prayed it wouldn’t backfire on me.
“Time for school!” I call from the kitchen, trying to motivate myself as much as them with my sappy positivity. They come quickly knowing it does them no good to drag.
“I have something special for devotion this morning and you can help read the passages, so grab your bibles.
So far, so good. They are completely oblivious.
“Let’s start with 1 Corinthians 13.”
Each one eagerly searches his or Table of Contents. That’s in the New Testament, right Mommy? Oh, I found it! Now what is it? Thirteen? Do we start at verse thirteen, too? Their fingers work at gentleness and self-restraint against their propensity towards man-handling anything in their possession; coupled with their exuberance for mastering the skill of finding Scriptures…first. Finally, after several minor confusions and the youngest insisting she is in 1 Corinthians 13 when really she is in Colossians 1:13, they settle down and take turns reading, several verses at a time….
“…Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking….”
We chat briefly about love: all its wonderful attributes and examples of loving and unloving behavior.
“Now, let’s go backwards a bit to 1 Corinthians 10:24. You find it and I’ll read this time.” I hold my breath as I watch them flip pages backwards, exhaling with each turn of the page not ending in a rip.
“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”
That was short. They look at me expecting more, but I forge ahead.
“One more: Philippians 2:3-4. You will need to go forward to find that one. Again, you find it and follow along while I read…
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition for vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
“So,” I say, smiling as I look into each one of their faces, “What do these passages mean? What do they have in common?”
They are showing their first signs of discomfort, squirming in their seats, glancing at one another then back to my smiling face, beginning to understand this is headed somewhere personal.
Bammer finally answers, “They are saying that you shouldn’t just care about getting to do what you want. You should care about doing what other people want, too.”
The heavens part. I walk boldly through the opened door.
“That’s right, Buddy. And guess what? We have a very practical way we get to demonstrate that we LOVE our big brother on Thursday night and show him that we care about his efforts in football by NOT going trick-or-treating and instead going as a family to watch him play. Isn’t that neat?!”
I ready myself for battle; square my shoulders and keep the smile plastered on my face. And then, a strange thing happens. They slowly grin back at me—not a joyful exuberant smile, but more reserved, with a genuine glow—and say…
“Mommy. We already figured that out. It’s okay. We want to go to Wyatt’s game.”
Well, alrighty then. Time for Science!