By Greg Marano,
The Man I Prefer To Be
We bought it at Party City, two weeks before Halloween: an inflatable tyrannosaurus Rex costume that my son fell in love with the second he stepped into the store, refusing to even look at any other costumes.
He wore it to his preschool Halloween party, to the delight of his classmates who tried to stomp on his puffy yet durable tail.
He wore it to the zoo’s Halloween event, to the chagrin of the jittery llamas and the frustration of more than one predatory cat.
He wore it while trick-or-treating, shuffling up the neighbors’ driveways and casting larger-than-life shadows on the ground.
And he wore it again tonight, two weeks until summer with the pink geraniums in full bloom in our front yard, because he wanted to scare Mommy when she got home from work.
Why did I go along with this plan? Because.
Because he’s four; this is the only year he’ll be four.
Why didn’t I tell him Halloween costumes are only for Halloween, and you’re only meant to wear them once and then throw them out?
Because he looked at me with those eyes that only the youngest of children have, the eyes that know Daddy can make any wish come true. And this one was so easy, and elicited so many giggles with such little effort.
Why did I let him drag it out to the front porch, help him step into it, run to find 4 replacement AA’s when the inflator wasn’t working hard enough to fill the giant dinosaur head, and wait with him, hunched behind the bushes (but, in all honesty, not remotely concealed), watching for my wife’s car, ready to tell him the exact moment he could run onto the driveway roaring with his tiny hands in the air?
Because of the sound of her laughter when she saw this lovable monster waddling toward her, and the sound of him squealing, “I scared you!” These are the sounds that fill my heart.
Why did we go through all this on a weeknight when there’s dinner to be made, laundry to be sorted, clients to email, and confused neighbors driving by on their way home from work?
Because it was fun. What other reason do you need?