Jason Keil

Journalist. Writer. Blogger.

Jason Keil is a freelance journalist whose work has been published in the Phoenix New Times, Denver Westword, Riverfront Times (Saint Louis), Shepherd Express, and OnMilwaukee.com. He is also a blogger, photographer, and copywriter. He currently resides in Phoenix, AZ.

Fatherhood: Week 24-Halloween

I do not want to be presumptuous, but if my son's daycare held a costume contest last week, his homemade BB-8 costume would have won. Teachers and parents admired Beckett's outfit for his Halloween parade. 

All praise goes to my lovely wife. She spent a week planning the design, making the paper mache body and cutting orange felt in funky shapes. JJ Abrams would be impressed.

 Are we going to get sued by Lucasfilm? 

Are we going to get sued by Lucasfilm? 

My wife and I took the holiday morning off to participate in the festivities and ensure Beck would be comfortable in his bulky costume. It was so large it practically engulfed him. I did not expect him to last five minutes inside his pop-culture inspired ensemble. The test-fittings we performed over the weekend seemed to try his patience. Luckily on the day of, he did not seem to mind his extra circumference. The strength of my arms, on the other hand, was pushed to its limits. When I could not hold Beck anymore, we set him free. He was unaware of how impressed we were that he tolerated being BB-8 for so long. 

Since becoming a father, I have found it increasingly difficult to keep my emotions in check. Beck's first Halloween was no different. The level of cuteness he and his classmates exhibited unleashed hell on my tear ducts.

As I mentioned above, my wife put a lot of work into Beckett's costume. We did not expect some of the remarks we received as a result of her labor of love. I would hear things like: "I wish I had time to put together something like that" and "My kid's costume seems lame compared to yours." I found these comments slightly off-putting, like something a bully would say to a nerdy kid in class (I was the nerdy kid growing up, and it made me feel like I did over twenty years ago). 

We weren't trying to show up the other parents, we simply wanted to do something creative for Beck's first Halloween. For the first time, I saw how parents use their kids as a vessel for their dreams and insecurities. I catch myself doing this sometimes. I will talk with another parent about something cool Beck did or compare the level of work I put in parenting to the amount my wife does. I don't even realize I am doing it. Not everyone has to know my son can roll over in both directions (See, I just did it again).

I have always been competitive, but I don't want to pass that on to my son. I just want him to be the best man (or droid) he can be.