Saturday, November 3, 2012


I can tell the kids are getting older. For the past several years, our house has been filled with intense excitement for the last day of October and the festivities, candy, costume decisions, candy, decorations, candy, and the candy involved. To explain what I mean by "intense excitement," I'll use what Davis would call a "calculation." Take my excitement for the holiday that signifies cooler weather, candy, changing leaves, candy, the spirit of community - where everyone visits each other's houses, candy and multiply that by four. Subtract 25% of that amount to account for the lack of enthusiasm from the other parent in the house (we'll call him Franken-Scrooge to protect his identity) and what you have left is still some pretty intense excitement.

When the kids are toddlers and they remember from year to year what Halloween is all about (princess dresses and candy or hero costumes and candy - not interchangeable enthusiasm), the anticipation grows with time. At about age 8, the excitement peaks and depending on the child, declines at different rates. 

For Child #1 (we'll call her Can-Still-Get-Away-With-Trick-or-Treating-Based-on-Her-Short-Stature-But-is-Probably-Too-Old) enthusiasm peaked several years ago. This year, the needle was all over the gauge. It went from Handing-Out-Candy to Taking-Little-Brother-Around-the-Neighborhood to Whatever-My-Friends-Are-Doing to Going-to-a-Party to Ticked-Off-Mom-and-Dad-Said-I-Can't-Go-to-the-Party to I'll-Just-Sit-in-My-Room back to Taking-Little-Brother and finally back around to Whatever-My-Friends-Are-Doing. Evidently, Friends decided to trick-or-treat as 80's girls.

Child #2's enthusiasm (we'll call her Too-Cool-to-do-Anything-Little-Kids-Do-Especially-if-Older-Sister-Does-it-Too) was intense early on, but rather than decline gradually, it took a huge dive on November 1, 2011. She made her personal views public by proudly wearing a t-shirt that read "I Don't Do Costumes." She stuck to her guns about being the candy giver-outer at our house, but made a last minute change and helped her friend hand out candy at her house. Her friend had the same t-shirt, but neither girl actually wore the shirt on Halloween (only leading up to the big day) because that would have been uncool.

Child #3 (Last-Year's-Costume-Got-Me-Attention-From-the-Boys-So-Why-Mess-With-a-Good-Thing) had her costume decision and trick-or-treating companion booked months in advance. With her arrangements in place, her focus shifted to mathematics . How many pounds of candy could she collect in the fewest blocks and least amount of steps in clunky boots?

Upon realizing meaning of phrase "No Pain No Gain." 

Saw Eden doing the splits and thought we were going with some sort of theme.

Child #4. We'll call him (Everyday-is-the-Best-Day-Ever-So-it-Doesn't-Take-Much-to-Put-Him-Over-the-Edge). His countdown began November 1 last year. Costume choice is extremely important, but varies little from year to year. All involve muscles. Enthusiasm for this one went beyond just costumes and candy this year. Thanks to mom's convalescence and subsequent time on the computer, he discovered a treasure trove of festive decorating ideas on a little site called Pinterest. He printed his ideas, made a shopping list and pushed mom around the craft store in a wheelchair collecting supplies. We got pumpkins, ribbon, bats, ghosts, spider webs, and clay to make spiders. He told his whole class he was helping his mom make Halloween decorations. I fear for his safety at school sometimes, but the house looked great. When the big night came, he didn't get much candy. He tends to perform a very energy inefficient skippy-dance between houses. Wears him out fast.

He wasn't gone long.

As usual, though, BEST DAY EVER!