Day late, dollar short I guess.

Had a last-minute schedule change yesterday that kept me from getting out the obligatory Halloween wrap-up post. So my apologies, as I know many of you spent your entire day refreshing the site, waiting for that post to appear.

It was, perhaps, our best Halloween ever. Temps were in the low 60s and it was dry, making it an ideal evening to be out. M went as a panda. C went as YouTube sensation Miranda Sings. And L went as a Ghostbuster. As has become our routine, we had a little dinner get-together with some neighbors before the kids headed out. With it being so nice, we set up camp in our driveways, lit a fire, and set up tables for the impromptu, four-way chili cook off that resulted from four different households bringing chili.[1]

After some consulting with a few of the neighbors, we decided to give the kids some freedom to wander the neighborhood on their own. They were given strict parameters on where they could and could not go, and one family supplied walkie talkies so we could check in at any time. The kids got to make a couple forays on their own and did quite well. That gave us adults more time to eat chili and drink beer around the fire. Win-win.

As much as I enjoyed that freedom, I realized later in the night, that this was our future on Halloween. I don’t think the older girls minded at all that we weren’t going around the neighborhood with them. We kept a closer eye on L; she got separated from the bigger group once – they had all stopped at home base and they took off without her – so she made a loop with her infant cousins and the moms. When it was time to hit the house that has a haunted garage kids walk through, all the parents went along. But I think our days of spending two-plus hours with them are done.

On one hand, it was nice to just hang out and socialize, especially since we hadn’t seen a few of the families since the middle of the summer. On the other, walking around and experiencing the excitement of the night and seeing how all the other kids are dressed is a huge part of the holiday for parents. We had a great evening, but I don’t know Halloween-y it really felt to me.

The girls loaded up on candy, which made them happy. We had fewer trick or treaters at our door than we’ve ever had. Although we were out in the driveway, we set a bowl at our front door with a sign to help yourself. When we closed things up for the night at 8:00, the bowl was still like 80% full. Of course, the year I finally stop buying so much is the year that our neighborhood gets a fresh wave of kids and we run out at 7:30.

Good weather, good food, and good gatherings for the girls. And this year I didn’t have to avoid a World Series score all night! A pretty solid way to kick off the holiday season. All the parents agreed we need to petition the neighborhood, though, to always have Trick or Treating on the last Friday or Saturday of October. This school-night stuff sucks!22

  1. Mine rocked. I did my usual adjustments to the recipe as I cooked and was a little worried about how it would turn out. But the end result may have been my best effort ever. Which is saying something. I make good chili.  ↩