Our little Byrdie went Trick or Treating last year but being so young it was a short experience. This year she is almost 2 and a half. We dressed up her up as Ponyo because it’s her favorite movie. My friend sewed her an amazing costume from scratch and she LOVED the whole experience of dressing up and going out. She was a little shy but bravely marched up to each house and said “trick or treating!” instead of “trick or treat”. Heart melt. It was adorable. She said thank you to each person then “let’s get another treat!”.
We have just recently moved to Florida and are brand new to this community. We went over to the friends who invited us because their neighborhood goes ALL out for Halloween. There the residents get really into decorations (some a little too scary for my taste) and alot of the neighbors sit out with their fire pit on the driveway handing out candy and socializing. Our friends did that too so after walking around a bit we went back to their house for chili and apple crisp. l had been sitting outside with my little girl’s bucket beside me and my husband’s costume on top of it. I went inside with her because it got cold and shortly after the candy ran out and everyone else came in. We forgot the bucket was sitting there full of candy. Even though it was only outside at most for ten minutes, and despite the fact that it was covered up – someone stole it! We were so upset and just felt sick. It was our fault for leaving it there and we felt awful. As waves of regret swept over me I kept thinking how disappointed she would be. We weren’t worried about the candy. Who possibly needs that much candy anyway? She loved that green bucket. It was a big piece of the Ponyo costume and story and she was so proud of it. Not only that it was the whole experience. How could we explain such a cruel trick.
In the grand scheme of things it would be quickly forgotten and with a global perspective it really wasn’t a big deal. But we are parents and our hearts hurt at even the smallest things when it comes to our little ones. Fortunately my sweet girl was having fun playing and didn’t realize what was going on. My husband took off running down the street to try to catch the person but it was too dark and too late. We just felt awful and couldn’t bear the thought of telling her.
At first she didn’t even notice. When we left the our friend’s house they gave her the basket they had with all their leftover candy in it and their grandsons (young kids around 8-10) all reached in their bags and gave her candy from their own haul. We had to stop them because they were actually giving too much and we felt bad. They were so kind.
So we got in the car and realized we could go get her another bucket from the Dollar Tree store if we could hurry and get there before they closed. As we drove she picked up on the fact that her bucket was missing and we sort of fumbled over our words and told her that it was lost but we are going to find it. Fortunately we found another one just like it. The cashier overheard us talking and asked what happened sowe told him the story. He said “That’s awful!” and expressed the frustration most anyone would at the story of a little two year old’s bucket of candy being stolen. He rang us up and said “Wait just one second” and picked up his cell phone. We overheard him calling to ask his mom if she still had candy and told her the story and said he was going to send us there. He then proceeded to give us the address and told us to go there she would take care of us. Now I realize it may seem a little strange to take these directions and go to a strangers house, but on the other hand isn’t that what Trick or Treat is? For some reason, we felt ok about it. Perhaps it was our urgent desire to rectify the situation for our little girl.
In the car Marlo started asking questions about the bucket like “why did we have to buy it”. So we had to break down and tell her what happened. We told her we still had to go to one more house. She didn’t skip a beat and was just excited she got to go to one more house. So we went and the older lady who lived there was so nice. For some reason barely anyone had come to their door and she had a huge, huge bowl of candy left. She literally filled Marlo’s bucket to the brim with candy. That child wound up with more candy than she lost. Much more.
We told her we have to forgive the person (as we reminded ourselves) so it was turned out to be a learning opportunity for us all. We couldn’t help thinking of the scripture about the sparrow. God cares about the sparrows and even my little Byrdie’s bucket of candy. He gave her back so much more than she lost.
It’s a story we’ll never forget.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.