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A lesson in independence

Having a child has changed the way I view most holidays.

I’ve never been much of a fan of holidays, primarily because my job dictated that I work on most of them.

Once I was blessed with a little girl, the way I looked at things began to change.

Lizzie enjoys Christmas. She gets new toys and gets to see our extended family. She enjoys Thanksgiving, too. Surrounded by family who hang on her every word, she’s a four-year-old center of attention. She loves it.

In a calendar that spans 12 months of one celebration or another, I think Halloween has become one of my favorite annual event.

Lizzie gets excited about Halloween weeks in advance. As soon as she picks out her costume — which Tiffany and I have let her do herself the past two years — she’s ready to take the neighborhood by storm.

My child is far from bashful. Those of you who know her can testify to that. Those of you whom she visited last night likely got a little more than a simple “trick or treat.” Walking up to someone’s house and talking to them plays to her strengths.

Lizzie gets a great sense of accomplishment from every little thing she does and you could see that last night.

Lizzie knows the Halloween objective: Get candy.

She knows this candy is available at most any house with a light on. When she rings that doorbell and the candy hits the bucket, she sees that as mission accomplished and moves on to the next one.

About a year ago, I bought Lizzie a Little Mermaid puzzle. It had about 20 pieces and she, Tiffany and I must have put that thing together a million times.

One afternoon several months ago, she went and got that puzzle and dumped it out in the floor. She didn’t ask for any help. She didn’t want any. After about 15 minutes, she’d put the whole thing together by herself.

She was so proud of herself, and I see that same pride when we’re walking home with a bucket full of candy — and we’re not allowed to stop until the bucket is full.

After we got home and inventoried our haul last night, you could tell Lizzie was proud of herself for a night of hard work well done.

I’m sure as she ages, Halloween will take on less importance to her, but for those of you with children, I’m sure you know how much fun it can be being dragged door to door in search of sugar, and until that changes I wouldn’t miss any of it.

Jason Cannon is the publisher of the Demopolis Times.