It’s Like They Want Me To Be Me!

For the Halloween season – which runs from mid-September until early November in a house with two Halloween-obsessed boys – Dylan has been given a special opportunity.

He was “hired” (receiving social service learning hours as “payment”) as a scarer at the local haunted forest extravaganza. Normally, those who are hired must be 16 or older – but Dylan volunteered to help with set-up, and somehow finagled his way into a scarer position at age 14. Because of his height, no one seems to know the difference.

Dylan has been asking to be part of Field of Screams since he was old enough to know it existed, and long before he was old enough to walk through the attractions himself.

We took him to the Field once a year on Family Day, when they “toned down” the terror. Family Day has since been eliminated entirely, so Shane still doesn’t care to attend. The first time we went, Dylan was six – and very sensitive.

While I wouldn’t allow Dylan to try, we watched his friend Kyle, a month older than Dylan, walk into the Field of Screams trail – and less than three minutes later, we saw Kyle running back out of the entrance, sobbing and screaming.

We did the relatively mild hayride instead. For years.

But Dylan would stare longingly at the woods. “I want to do that,” he would say in his pitifully high voice.

“When you’re 16, you can!” I would say, imaging that day to be far, far away.

Well, that day has arrived.

And Dylan has never been happier in his life.

After 14 years of people telling Dylan to sit down, be quiet, stand still, and STOP DOING THAT! – he is now doing a job that actually requires him to stand up, jump up and down, chase people, climb on things, spin, startle, screech, scream, and roar.

“Do they tell you what to do at your station?” I asked him after his first night.

“Not at all,” he said. “I have to think of what to do to try to be as scary as I can. But I am basically supposed to be completely crazy,” he said proudly.

He was thrilled after the second night, too. Then he counted days until the following weekend, so he could go back.

Dylan came home equally delighted after his fourth night.

“I can do whatever I want!” he practically screamed. “It’s like they want me to be me!”

They WANT him to be HIM.


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