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Raising Nerds - Chapter 2

Raising Nerds
Chapter 2 – Halloween, Heroes, and Candy
As a dad raising young nerds, everyday is like Halloween. I don’t mean we only feed our boys candy, but rather costumes are a regular part of every day. Just getting dressed is a grueling decision over which hero they will be today. A decision that is made all the more difficult when you have a wardrobe full of shirts with built in capes to choose from. Today it is Batman, tomorrow it will be Superman, the next day it may be a different hero every hour. There are too many choices and too little time to wear them all.

I am fairly certain it is my kid
under the mask

When it comes to Halloween though, this was like studying for finals. My oldest son has a wide variety of costumes: Superman, 3 different Batman costumes, Spiderman, Bumble Bee, Super Why, and last years Captain America. The process of deciding was part whim, part trial-and-error, as he put on each costume to see if he felt like he was that hero. Batman was clearly the odds-on favorite, but in a moment of inspiration, Spiderman was declared the victor on the morning of Halloween.
 I know my oldest is smart, but it wasn’t until that night after we had finished our trick-or-treating that I came to understand just how smart. Upon arriving home he declared he needed to change costumes, and not 5 minutes later Spiderman was now Superman. The small child who had gone trick-or-treating masked could now hit up all the same houses and none would be the wiser. ‘Genius’ was the first thought in my head followed by ‘how come I never did that as a kid’.

He makes a valid point
My thoughts of praise for how brilliant of a candy strategist he was were soon replaced though by a vision of the future, ‘is this how he becomes a super villain?’ Is this his villainous origin story? Does his fall from the light start by scamming our neighbors for extra candy on Halloween? Was I being ridiculous? Maybe, but how could I take that chance. Of course it turns out he just really needed a cape on at that moment. Crisis averted, for now.
While Logan/Spiderman was very much into the Spirit of Halloween, it was my youngest son Luke who tried to take it to the next level. Luke was dressed as Robin, the boy wonder, and he took the lead the entire night. When we came upon a house that was decked out with headstones and scary sounds Logan backed down, but Luke charged on through. Nothing in this world, living or otherwise, would stop him from getting candy. Of course, he was also skeptical you were giving him the good stuff, so every house we came to he tried to barge in and search the place, just in case the stuff in the bowl was a trick.
In true Robin fashion, Luke was destined for tragedy. While moving from house to house he took a spill and got a little scratched up. This Robin story, like all Robin stories, ended in some tears. Of course it also ended in candy so he wasn’t too upset about it. Maybe next year he will be something for Halloween that comes with a helmet.
I love watching my boys play super hero, and I love playing super hero with them. However, on Halloween, when our neighbors referred to them as Spiderman and Robin, there was a different kind of joy in their eyes. It wasn’t just mommy and daddy playing along; this made it real for them. My boys were no longer just playing super heroes, they were super heroes and that night they were protecting the entire neighborhood.
Scares and scratches aside, thanks to my neighbors, my boys got to have one of the best nights ever. They were superheroes in a way they had never experienced before, and this Nerd could not be more grateful.
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