My friend Molly posted this on her Facebook in regards to going trick-or-treating tonight with her four year old daughter, Boo.
“So – took Boo trick-or-treating to the neighborhood behind us this year. I think she’s the ONLY child who, after filling her bucket about 3/4 of the way, peered into it, nodded her head, and then told me and Ali in no uncertain terms that she was done…
“But… There are other houses – we could trick or treat on the way back home…”
“No thanks. I have all the candy in the world.”
…walking down the road…
“Hey, Boo! There’s one. What about this one? Want to do just one more house?”
“I already TOLD you – I’m done. Thanks!”
To expand a little (because I am verbose. You know this. You read this blog), I hastily invited myself to Halloween festivities with Molly and Fred. Obviously, this seems like a strange thing for me to do, but I have never felt unwelcome at inviting myself to hang out with Molly. I am very blessed to have her.
So I asked her what she was doing tonight with the wee one, and she invited me to come out trick or treating with her. I haven’t been trick-or-treating in forever, so I was thrilled to be able to witness the event from a different angle.
We trudged outside, umbrellas in hand, and Boo held her little pink pail for candy. She skipped and sang and chortled with excitement. Her first house, she forgot what to say when the door opened. We had to remind her a few times to thank the people opening their doors and handing out candies. “364 days a year, we teach our children NOT to take candy from strangers…” Molly mused. We then burst into hysterical laughter as Sticky Hands McGee (Boo) took FOUR HANDFULS from someone’s bowl.
Because she can totally work the sweet, they smiled and said “no worries” as we shouted apologies.
Boo’s unbridled laughter is like a drug for me. She laughs loudly, with abandon, and has yet to feel self-conscious about the volume she can project. To me, it is the sweetest symphony. It is that last drag on a cigarette where you expected to suck filter and instead get a sweet pull. It is my west coast version of Vicki and Seth’s corny num nums (cornbread with jalapeno).
The sounds of her merriment traveled through the air as ghouls, ghosts, and goblins traversed Suburbia. Not even a ninja hip checking her into a brick wall took her happiness away. She was in the moment and that moment was GLORIOUS.
After a while, she looked into her pail, and the conversation we had (mentioned above) occurred. We strolled past houses we hadn’t visited and she shrugged them off, saying that she had plenty. We got back to the house and Molly relayed the story to Fred and he chuckled.
As I was driving home, I was hit with the thought “I wish I could have a moment like that”. It’s amazing to think that 75% is good enough (considering how hard I am on myself). I remember as a child mapping out the neighborhood to ensure maximum candy retrieval. I was methodical. I was organized. Hell, I separated my candy not only into brand, but flavor spectrum.
The idea that a four year old could see a bunch of porch lights on and have a bucket not filled to the brim and be CONTENT with what she had was so foreign to me. But… I want that. I want the moment where I am completely present and not trying to figure out contingencies. I long for the moment where I don’t think to open my phone to plan for the future and instead live blissfully happy in the present.
Getting a life lesson from a four year old is remarkable.