Friday, November 4, 2011


Our plans for Halloween night fell apart pretty quickly. We tried to give Kate dinner before going out Trick-or-Treating, but she just put her head down on the table next to her half-eaten grilled cheese and virtually fell asleep. People often ask us how Kate communicates, and that’s one of the greatest examples there is.

As best we can, we like to expose Kate to all of the possibilities out there for typical kids. We get very frustrated for her when her body won’t let her do even simple things, and that includes being too tired to go out Trick-or-Treating in our neighborhood.

This is where Kate’s school comes in. Three nights earlier, we attended an event that made the collapse of our home-based Halloween Monday plans insignificant.

Kate goes to a local school for kids with special needs. All of the children at her school have some degree of disability and the range is dynamic, from mild autism to profound physical, neurological and motor challenges. A few years ago, the school started an annual Halloween event called Trunk-or-Treat.

The concept is what it sounds like – instead of hopping door-to-door in our neighborhood – the kids move car trunk to car trunk in the school’s parking lot. A tailgate really, but with Snickers and $100 Grand bars. Keep in mind these are not empty blackened car trunks, but dozens of trunks elaborately transformed into Halloween dioramas (constructed by some talented parents). Lighting, cobwebs, moving parts, smoke, goblins with blinking red eyes, the whole deal. It’s a huge boon for all of the kids, most who have difficulty getting around. Flat, paved parking lot asphalt never looked so good. No stairs, curbs, or driveways to navigate. One family whose son is in a positional wheelchair built an incredibly intricate Batmobile around his chair. He looked like a pretty proud Batman sitting in that cockpit.

And Kate was a very proud Cowgirl Sheriff. Forty degrees with the wind blowing and she couldn’t have cared less. She seemed to love dressing up and seeing her schoolmates and teachers outside of school hours. She giggled most of the night moving car-to-car and when we finally got her home, she was so over-excited she wouldn’t go to sleep. Fine with us.
Cowgirl Sheriff doesn't put up with any antics.

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