WHEN you have a daughter, pretty much one thing is guaranteed: Mommy will always look for reasons to doll the little one up.
On ordinary days, the conversation can go like this:
Wife: Is it too warm? It feels too warm? It’s kinda hot today, don’t you think? The sun’s extra hot today.
Me: Yes, you can dress Isay up in a summer outfit.
Imagine if Halloween is just around the corner. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon when the wife was scrolling down her iPhone screen looking at pictures of Halloween costumes. She picked out a Snow White outfit and said, “Isay would look really cute in this.”
Which was my cue to reply: “You know there’s a Halloween party at the office. Maybe we ca..”
So it was pretty much settled. Isay was going to make her first public appearance at the office Halloween party for kids.
The one thing that was unexpected in all of this was my excitement. I was actually counting the days from the time the costume was delivered to our unit to the date penciled for the Halloween kiddie party. I was probably more excited than anyone when we rounded out the final two days before the event.
Of course, there were concerns.
Isay, by the time of the party, was a day short of three months old. Would it be safe to bring a child that young to a building full of other screaming kids, with all the costumed people wandering around? Would the colors, the noise, and all the attention result in some sort of sensory overload for the little girl?
Luckily, Isay is pretty much used to the attention. When we do walks, she gets stopped a lot by people who immediately notice her thick hair. They talk to her, fuss over her and she doesn’t seem to mind. She even saves some of her sweetest smiles for moments like that.
Still, one can’t be too safe. So there were a few precautions needed, and a thorough study of the office environment.
In the end, these were the things that I considered:
- There had to be no “epidemic” loose. Offices can sometimes be a source of illnesses and ailments. I remember there was a time when a rash of sore eyes struck several officemates. During rainy season, coworkers could check in with a sniffle or two. In the week leading to the party, there was none of that sort. Plus, the office is very particular about the health of employees. We get regular blood pressure checkups and flu shots and all that stuff. So that was pretty much a non-concern.
- There had to be a strong no-smoking policy. The last thing you want is for your child to be exposed to second-hand smoke. The office had long implemented a no-smoking rule within the premises, banishing smokers to certain areas where no tobacco residue can contaminate the general atmosphere.
- The setup of the party had to be safe. No hazardous Halloween setups that could injure a too-curious kid. Nothing burning, definitely. No loose props that could fall on any of the kids who would participate in the trick-or-treat. The office had been holding this costume parties for several years and practically perfected the art of securing the kids’ safety.
Everything checked out. The only thing left to do was to bring Isay to the party.
It ended up a great Halloween for Isay. She didn’t mind the crowd at all. Her loot bag was stuffed with lots of sweets that we needed to grab a used paper bag for extra storage. That meant a lot of candies to snack on when daddy goes binge-watching his favorite shows on TV.
The fun part was to see her in the middle of a sea of costumed kids obviously having a good time. She’s never going to remember this moment. Events such as these are basically for-parents memories. It’s really no different from the first birthday, the baptism. A lot of these will be a cloud in her thoughts that she cannot see through. But it will make for great storytelling one of these days.
One day, I’ll sit Isay on my lap and tell her about the day people swooned at the sight of her in her cute little Snow White outfit. How she was one of the rare kids who got an audience with the company big boss. How people could not stop taking photos of her.
By night time, Isay was smiling in her sleep. She may not have eaten the candies she collected. But she did bring home a new friend. The little cutie won a special award for being the youngest trick-or-treater in this year’s Halloween party.
Thanks Inquirer! And thanks too for capturing this tender moment during a break in the candy-hoarding and frenzied introductions to officemates. I love this photo the most.