This year, things are different. We are in a new culture, surrounded by different people, varied expectations, many unknowns and little to do. To keep our family from complete isolation Jeff and I find ourselves having to make exceptions to what we otherwise would not allow. Last week brought an opportunity to remember an old lesson, and learn a new one.
The date was October 31st, 2012 and Jeff and I had a medical emergency. It was a Wednesday, the third day without power for a lot of people after hurricane Sandy hit our area Monday evening. We were lucky to have not lost power but we had to brave the storm on Monday to check on my cervix. We were sent home that day after seeing the substitute doctor and being quoted a research study that indicated I was not a candidate for a cerclage. I was anxious about his decision and very uneasy. My preterm labor started Wednesday morning. We found ourselves on the road again, unprepared and without child support. We called on my close friend and she, as usual, came to our aid. It was Halloween. JR needed the distraction; she dressed up and went trick or treating. I sat in a hospital room being stitched up, working hard to help save our baby. It was team work.
A year later, we celebrate Yousef's miracle. We also come upon Halloween again. We still do not celebrate Halloween, but everyone else around us does. With moving here, we thought that certain holidays would not be observed; we were wrong. The community here decided to organize itself around Halloween and bring the kids together for chaperoned trick or treating and a pot luck dinner afterwards. I wanted to include JR, but on our family's terms: no costume and just attend the after-party. I was quickly given a reminder of my lesson in bed, and sent a message that I should be so wise as not to forget: rules provide a great structure; knowing when to bend them is a virtue.
JR ended up being a ballerina,
and she participated in trick or treating, albeit minimally.