Last year, Mason was shy and timid and didn't want to walk up to houses alone let alone even carry his trick or treating bag. He had a very small vocabulary and very few words. I had to hold his hand and encourage him to walk up to houses. I had to walk him to the candy bowl and say 'trick or treat' and then 'thank you' after he was given candy. I thought last year was fun.
But this year. Oh this year! This year was AMAZING. Mason has continued to have speech therapy sessions as well as over a full year of ABA therapy and it truly shows.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we had a little Halloween fun the day before Halloween that I'd like to share. On Sunday, the 30th, we went to the RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns. We had gone last year with Desiree and her family when it was at the Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, but this year they moved the event to the LA Convention Center (the weekend I had to work) and the Fairplex in Pomona (the weekend before Halloween). We went to the Fairplex event and had a great time! I was a little skeptical because we enjoyed it so much being outside last year, but this year was no let down. I actually liked it better inside because it was less crowded (could be because they moved the venue and less people came or could be because they had times spread out all day since they could make it dark all day since it was inside) and we could easily walk along the "path" and see all the pumpkins and take as long as we needed to to take a picture. This was the first time that my mother in law, sister in law, brother in law, and nieces had seen the pumpkins and they were completely blown away. Even though the display was inside this year, it still took us over an hour to fully see an enjoy all the pumpkin amazingness.
Monday it was business as usual in the morning minus the fact that Mason brought his costume to school to do some trick or treating. I picked him up early, we made some corn bread muffins to go with the chili we made, and we headed over to my sister in law and brother in law's house to have dinner and trick or treat with all the cousins.
As I mentioned above, this Halloween was significantly different than last year. Mason has grown in so many ways and because I see him everyday, I feel like I didn't fully notice it until Halloween night when he was trick or treating. Looking back at these photos, for lack of a better phrase, gives me all the feels. I feel proud. I feel sad. I feel so much love.
I'm SO proud of the little boy he has become. He is so confident and sure in himself and it shows. He marched on up to those houses, with or without his cousins, and rang the door bell, practically yelled 'trick or treat' because he was so excited, said 'thank you' on his own, and even wished some people a 'happy halloween' as he ran away down the street to the next house. I was so shocked and so proud all at the same time. I felt sad because I mean, look at that BIG BOY. He is officially not my baby anymore and while it makes me so happy to see how far he's come and how much he's grown up, I can't help but be a little sad that he is so grown up. And so much love. I just want to cry when I think about how far he's come. How different this year was compared to last year. For someone with autism who should be terrible at change, he is far better at change than I am. He takes new experiences and opportunities in stride and kicks butt all the while I am so worried (for no reason!) about how he will do. He carried his own candy bag for a good hour before it got too heavy and we headed home. He beamed from ear to ear every time he went to a house and always (every time!) ran back to me to show me how much candy he got. He truly was so proud and so happy and that just makes my heart beam with joy and pride.
This is just the first holiday of many coming up and after Monday night, I CANNOT wait to continue the excitement of the holiday season with Mason this year!
How was your Halloween?
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