Here is Ben trick or treating for his very first time. He could hardly believe his luck, incredulous when we told him. You mean you just walk up to people’s houses and they give you candy? his eyes seemed to say. It was too much to compute.
Turns out being an adorable dragon on your maiden voyage as a trick or treater will also get you Beanie Babies, plastic toy snakes, king size Snickers bars and glow in the dark bracelets. He trotted behind us, chocolate smeared all over his face, glow stick around his arm, in pure heaven.
We were headed to a street party in the neighborhood, a place where there would be friends of ours, real food, and fun. We shuffled along slowly, encouraging Ben to hurry, bribing him with chocolate, trying not to be frustrated with the pace of a toddler, wishing we had brought the stroller…
At some point though, a little voice inside me whispered: This moment right here might be as good as it gets.
We were living as if the street party was somehow going to be better than what was happening now, that this whole walk was just a pesky thing we had to do to get to the real stuff. I noticed how the distraction of a destination was keeping me from fully enjoying this really sweet time.
“Matt, the street party might not be as fun as this. This might be as good as it gets for tonight-and this is pretty darn good. Let’s not miss this.”
A few minutes later we ran into our friends. Turns out the street party had already dismantled and everyone was trick or treating. While we were hurrying Ben, trying to get to some moment we thought was superior to the one we were in, the party was already over.
It was suddenly so clear to me what a fantasy the future can be, that we imagine it either better or worse than where we are now. And it’s irrelevant whether we are right or wrong. It will just be what it is.