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Last Friday I took my son to his school’s annual Halloween party. This is his third year in the school, but we always waited until the last minute to buy tickets and missed out. This year, he is way more cognizant of time and dates (at least when it comes to something he cares about), and the reminders came two weeks early: “Daddy, the Halloween party is in Ten days, 9 days, 7 days…etc.” So I bought the tickets for us, made sure his ghost costume was complete with mask and chains, and we got ready to rock & roll.

It didn’t hit me until we arrived at the school that this wasn’t just a gathering of kids in costume acting like inmates during a power outage. This was my son’s first “dance.” The DJ was playing the latest hip-hop hits as the kids screamed and ran back and forth hopped up on green soda and sugar cookies. At first Justin was a little intimidated by the sheer number of people and the older kids towering over him in their witch and monster costumes. He gripped my hand for dear life and asked me not to leave him. This was a complete 180 from the mornings when I drop him off for class and he can’t get away from me fast enough. But I assured him that I was not leaving, and he calmed down a bit. Of course I became irrelevant once he saw some of his own classmates dressed up as Power Rangers and Princesses, and he completely perked up when he saw his girl, Zoey.

From that point it was “Daddy who?”

Before long my little ghost was doing the Cha-Cha slide, dropped it like it’s hot to Flo-Rida and broke out his patented “Crazy Robot.” I was cheesing from ear-to-ear watching him bust a move for all he was worth.

After consuming about three plastic cups worth of nacho cheese Doritos (hey, he couldn’t have them for breakfast, so he got it in while he could) there was a “Pass The Pumpkin” contest. Similar to Hot Potato, the kids got in a circle and passed the pumpkin pon’ de left hand side while the music played. Whoever was holding the pumpkin when the music stopped was out of the game. So Justin got into the scrum of first- and second-graders and reinvigorated my hopes of his being an NBA point guard one day. He passed the rock like Chris Paul and ended up in a one-on-one with a pretty girl in pigtails. Maybe it was my parental bias, but when the music stopped I swore that pumpkin was in her hands. However, the refs called it in her favor. Unlike his rigged Pokemon matches at the house, Justin was a good sport in his loss and clapped for her as she got her prize. I gave him a high five for making it to the final round and figured it was probably good karma for him to take the L this time. Girls hate to lose.

With the sugar fading in his system, Just gave me a hug and said he was ready to go home. It had been two hours of haunted mayhem and I was ready to call it a night, too.

Tonight we going out for sanctioned begging, but I think I already got he best treat of all.