Monday, November 2, 2009

Logan's Do-Over (by Billy Coffey)

Halloween night is usually a busy one at my house. From the time the porch light goes on until the time the candy runs out, there will be an average of 160 ghosts, witches, Hannah Montanas, and ninjas walking up the driveway. Not kidding. Kids take Halloween seriously around here.

The rush is generally concentrated between the time we get home from our own trick-or-treating until around 8:30, at which time either all the children’s bags are full or their parents are out of patience. There are always a few stragglers of course, mostly the teenagers who are too old to want to be seen begging for free candy but too young to pass it up.

But even the stragglers are done by 9:30. I’ve never had a trick-or-treater knock on my door past that time. Until Logan, anyway. He knocked on my door twenty hours later.

Wife and kids were gone, which had left me in the enviable position of having both the television and the house to myself. I had just settled in to a riveting football game when I heard footsteps on the porch, followed by a soft knock.

“Trick or treat!”

Standing at the door was a pint-sized T-Rex. Styrofoam teeth jutted out from his head, and a long tail stretched all the way to the steps. Very impressive.

“Trick or treat!” the boy said again. He held out an orange plastic bag and shook it twice for effect.

“It’s not Halloween,” I said.

“I know.”

“Halloween was yesterday.”

“I know.”

This, I decided, was a new low. Not only did I probably give this kid a handful of candy last night, now he was back for more.

“Didn’t you get enough last night?” I asked him.

“Nuh-uh,” he said.

“Little greedy, ain’t ya?”

He wrinkled his brow at that, as if he were trying to decide if that was a compliment.

“What’s your name?” I asked him.


“Well Logan, I think you probably have enough candy at your house, don’t you?”

“No. I don’t have any.”

“You don’t have any candy?”

“Nuh-uh.” He shook his bag again—please?

“You didn’t go trick-or-treating last night?” I asked.

“No,” Logan said. “I got dressed and went to Granny’s, and then I got sick. I yarked in my bag.”

It was my turn to wrinkle my brow, but he answered my question before it was asked by stating, “No, not this bag.”

“Oh,” I said. “Good.”

“Mommy says I can have a do-over. She says we don’t get much do-overs, but I think they’re the best.”

I glanced out toward the driveway. Mommy stood at the end and rested an elbow on our mailbox. She gave me a wave and a what-was-I-supposed-to-do? shrug.

“Most everybody’s out of candy,” Logan said, “so they gave me cooler stuff.”

He opened his bag for proof—two candy bars, a pencil, some glue, and a five dollar bill.

“Not bad,” I said. “Okay, hang on and I’ll see what I can find.”

The only candy left was the bounty my kids had secured the previous night. While it was entirely within my bounds to confiscate a few pieces here and there for my own use, I didn’t really feel right giving Logan any. In the end I came up with a small spiral notebook, two AA batteries (every boy needs batteries for something), a baseball card, and an arrowhead I had found near the creek.

“There ya go,” I said, emptying it all into his bag.

Sweet! Thanks.”

“No problem. Happy Halloween.”

Logan the tiny T-Rex bounded back down the driveway to his mother. We exchanged a wave and another shrug, and I stood and watched as he knocked on the door of the house across the road.

Do-overs. Logan was right, they’re the best. A way to erase all the bad and make some good in the process. His mom, however, was wrong. Do-overs are more common than she thought.

Every day is a do-over, I think. A chance to right the wrongs of the day before, to be better and love more and reach higher than the day before. Few things in life have brought me more comfort than that fact.

That no matter how dark my night may be, daybreak will come.


To read more from Billy Coffey, visit him at at his new website and follow him on the twitter at @billycoffey.


Beth in NC said...

Cute story Billy!

Bradley J. Moore said...

I had a little kid come to my house on Halloween, take a look at my basket of candy,he looks up at me and says, "I don't like chocolate."
Halloween isn't going to be much fun for this guy. He kept looking for something non-chocolate, but all I had were those really good chocolate candy bars. Finally he picks one out and says, "I'll give it my brother."

And yeah, do-overs are awesome.
"His mercies are new every day."
Thank God for that.

~*Michelle*~ said...

Awesome! Love this.....

and so thankful that we serve a King whose never ending grace, compassion and forgiveness gives us all those "do-overs"

Maureen said...

A lovely story lovingly told. And with a bonus: a lesson we always need to remember. Thanks, Billy.

Heather Sunseri said...

Very cute! I am very thankful that I'm allowed do-overs every day! We all need do-overs.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for sharing this touching reminder that "do-overs" are good, and--more important--that sometimes they're possible.

Corinne said...

What a sweet story - I love that his mom took him around the next day!
And I agree, every day is a do-over, to which we should be very thankful for.

Pam at beyondjustmom said...

Grace shows up in so many ways if we just allow it. Even for pint-sized t-rexes. Thanks for sharing this!

Annie K said...

I for one am thankful for do-overs.

Ginny (MAD21) said...

Thanks, Billy. Ya. I'm with ya. Thank God for do-overs. Don't know what I'd do without them!

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

I'm in need of a few do-overs myself.

I love it that the mom took her little T-Rex out even though it was a day late. I love it that he came knockin' down those doors, even though he faced potential rejection.

Cool story.

Anonymous said...


Marni said...

"because His compassions fail not, they are new every morning..." that's what came to mind when I read about little Logan. I love his attitude just like I love this verse in Lamentations.

Thank you so much for the story of how we can always have a do-over and for God, if there is breath in our body, it's not too late.

Wendy said...

What a cool mom to let him do that! I love me some do-overs!

Joanne Sher said...

LOVE this, Billy. What a super reminder, and the perfect lesson (as usual). I'd be a mess without do-overs.

Anonymous said...

We sure don't get enough 'do-overs' in life... great story, Billy.

Helen said...

I'm glad the little guy got a do over, and that he was happy with his noncandy treats.

Caroline said...

Sweet story. Thank you for the lesson at the end.

Denise said...

Such a sweet story.