The Cast: Myself (the guardian), Sarah (my princess).
While I have had many, many wonderful experiences on Halloween over the years, there is one special event that comes to the forefront of my mind as a favorite memory. One special Halloween night when my oldest daughter was little.
The name Sarah means princess. And as my first girl (and firstborn) she always has been, my princess. However, she has never, never, been a dainty little, helpless princess. She has been more like Merida from Disney’s & Pixar’s Brave. Tough, thoughtful, creative, kind, sweet, funny, beautiful, bold, strong, wonderful and dear to her father’s heart.
Anyway, one Halloween night when my children were younger (the third & fourth weren’t born yet) Cindy had taken our son home because it was getting late, cold, and he had thrown up. But Sarah… Well, Sarah was up for more candy hunting. And I was more than willing to happily tag along.
My first and middle names translate over to protector & guardian, respectively. My last name even translates over into “battle hill”. It’s what I do. It’s what I have always done. So, hand in hand, I—as Batman—walked my little girl, who was dressed up in fairy pink complete with wings and a wand, up and down the neighborhood streets collecting more holiday goodies for her.
This tale picks up there.
At each stop, Sarah would walk up to the door, on her own, ring the bell, politely (and cutely) say “Trick-or-treat.” Then, after receiving her candy, “Thank you. Happy Halloween.” Then head back toward me, at the sidewalk. I stood at the sidewalk because my costume is pretty cool and I didn’t want to take away from the adorableness that was (and still is) my daughter. And I wanted to be ready, for anything, and I was.
When Sarah walked up to one door in particular, I once again stayed back. However, next to that part of the sidewalk there was a tree that cast a dark shadow. A very dark shadow.
As I stood vigil, Sarah did the same thing she had done at all the other doors. But this time the old lady in the doorway was acting a little odd. As Sarah was going through her routine, I noticed that the lady was fidgety. She was looking about and wore a face of concern. I was mentally putting all the pieces together: She is looking for something… But what? She’s acting nervous… Why? OoHHH! She’s looking for the little girl’s guardian.
“Where’s your mom or dad, sweety?” The woman asked.
“My dad’s right there.” Sarah pointed to the darkness that was my veil. The old woman strained to see me. I could see her searching the shadows for any sign of a human form. I’m right here lady. Oh, right. I’m Batman.
I stepped from the shadows that had concealed me, into the light cast from the street lamp nearby. As my body materialized before her eyes I knew I gave that poor woman quite a start. She went pale, dropped her bowl of candy, almost collapsed (she grabbed her door frame before she completely collapsed), clutched her chest and gasped.
Sarah simply said her thank you, wished the old lady a “Happy Halloween”, skipped over to me, reached out (unfazed and unafraid) for my hand, smiled and said, “OK, daddy, let’s go.”
And hand in hand, a fairy-princess with her dark knight in tow, wandered off into the night in search of more Halloween.