"Mom, that's what I want to be," he said with excitement, while pointing to me motoring by in my wheelchair. I had never thought of myself being the subject of someone else's costume and had a variety of conflicting emotions, some positive, some fearful. "You want to dress up like you are fat?" mom asked. "No, no, no," the son said excitedly. "I want to have a wheelchair and ride around like a kid in a wheelchair."
The conversation evolved that the boy had a friend in school who used a wheelchair and he wanted to go with his friend's parents and his friend to a local mall that has a Halloween night in the mall and kids can collect candy and other stuff from the stores in the mall. I've seen those here in Canada, malls providing a 'safe environment for kids to run around in costume and get to holler 'trick or treat' at the top of their lungs. Mom was still unconvinced.
"Won't your friend think you might be making fun of him using a wheelchair."
"No, mom," he said in that tone that communicates that mom's understand nothing, "we will both have costumes on. We thought we could both be, like, pirates and the wheelchairs be like ships. We talked about how to do that but he told me I'd have to get a chair, his mom says we can rent one if we wanted.
"Any you are sure he won't mind?"
"No mom, IT WAS HIS IDEA."
"Because you get more candy if you are in a wheelchair! ISN'T THAT COOL!!!"
Mom just laughed and the delayed the decision, "We'll have to ask your dad."
"As soon as dad knows there will be more candy he'll say yes," the child predicted with confidence.
Now there are so many ways to look at this. Me, I'm sticking with this being a story of two kids who are conspiring together to do costumes that will get them the maximum amount of candy. Like kids all over Canada are doing right now. The kid with the disability is suggesting a costume idea for his buddy, in the same way that kids suggest costumes for each other all the time - remembering that candy and treats are their reason behind it all. That and the fun of dressing up of course.
Part of me wanted to ask myself questions about this, "will the typical kid see the pity aspect of disability which is the probable motivator behind the extra candy," or will he just enjoy rolling around with his friend, thinking they are brilliant for coming up with the costumes with the maximum candy reward.
Then I thought, why am I analysing this at all? Why am I caring?
Two boys are friends and are planning similar costumes. That's all this is. "But that one kid isn't a wheelchair user ---" yeah, I get that, but he isn't a pirate either.
I'm guessing the that boy in the chair adapts all the time for the boy without the chair. Now it time, as happens in relationships and friendships, for adaption to flow the other way.
I see it as fun.
What say you?