Thursday, November 20, 2008

Halloween Heroics

Weston here, finally writing to pass on a story from Halloween.

After trick-or-treating with all four, we dropped the twins off at home and I took the two older boys for a few additional houses. On one porch we ran into some neighbors who have boys the same age as ours. As I chatted, the boy about Caleb's age asked to see his "Jango Fett" gun, and Caleb being the sweet natured kid, which will come back to haunt (Halloween pun fully intended) him here in a minute. The courteous young boy looked over the gun in admiration until another, slightly less courteous child, somewhere in between Caleb and Aidan's age, entered the fray. He too wanted to see the coveted gun and Caleb was glad to give him a turn.

I told Caleb and Aidan it was time to head back and Caleb politely asked for the gun back several times with no success, and the final inquiry soliciting a response of "I like it so it's mine!" from the increasingly unruly child. I was trying to encourage Caleb to continue the polite approach, as I didn't feel totally comfortable stepping in, not knowing this kid, and his mother having just ran a couple houses down to make sure their door was locked.

Enter Aidan. Aidan, having no fear of the older, though not necessarily that much bigger, boy marched right up to him and said "You need to give it back, that's Caleb's!" After a few more exchanges of stubborn phrases from both, Aidan seemed to see he was getting no where, even with the more forceful approach and just grabbed the gun. A tugging match ensued as Aidan continued to yell dictums as Caleb's advocate.

Of course, I stood there, motionless, telling myself I still didn't want to intervene because I didn't know the kid, but it was more like the way we tend to get sucked into a good car chase on tv, you know the outcome, you know it's going to end badly, and yet, you watch.

The older boy managed to yank the gun out of Aidan's hand. At this point, our neighbors, friends with the boy's parents, felt obligated to step in and tried to resolve the situation. The boy dodged them both and headed around behind the large porch bench. As the closed in on him, Caleb went in as well, accidentally kicking a power cord that was attached to a large, plastic light-up pumpkin up on the porch wall. Noticing the falling decor, the mom of our courteous neighbor boys (who had been in hot pursuit of the ruffian) dove to the floor in attempt to save the bright orange pumpkin. Sadly, despite sacrificing herself, the pumpkin hit and the light went out. Fortunately, the distraction gave her husband a chance to snag the gun and return it to Caleb.

I snapped out of my coma and apologized profusely as we made an exit that was apparently a few minutes too late. I did take Caleb back with a replacement bulb for the pumpkin and hopefully all is well there. What still sits so well with me though is Aidan. It's one thing to stand up to others and stand up for yourself, but to see him stand up so strongly and passionately for his older brother was exciting. Just goes to show they're never to young to encourage them to enact justice on behalf of others, especially family.

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