well, we the parents, have actually made it through halloween festivities. we knew we would....it's just that we never know what glitches (not witches)might occur. sometimes it is a drama based on parental issues.....like, the husband won't be home in time, won't be home at all,... the kids want to be in three different places with three different groups of people,the parents want to be in three different places with three different groups of people.
HUGE in a kids mind...."he or she always tries to eat my candy"..."this neighborhood is better than that neighborhood"..... "i want to go with this friend and they want to go with those friends".....simple...halloween logistics, you say..."big deal"....i say, "BIG DEAL!"
to further complicate matters, an additional drama that can occur , brought on by parents who want to control ... "why can't our kids go together?"...the drama is exponentially related to how many parents and how many kids are involved!
and that's why we have stuck with the plain, old fashioned "K.I.S."(keep it simple) rule that suits us best....only because in our world, we need simple! when we live life in the simple lane...honest and true to ourselves and our kids, life seems to flow with our plain, old fashioned little mary mix up events....we don't need to mix with others' social agendas to have giant volcanic eruptions. the mix ups we're used to!
thankfully, our halloween, has always been kid driven. we have always tried to let our children choose their own friends....on halloween and in LIFE.
sounds simple, you say. NOT! it seems easiest if you can formulate friendships for your children that are "convenient" for you....based on your family friends, neighborhood friends, "playgroup" friends or "social climbing status (hopefully, the children are only concerned with climbing trees and climbing on furniture and it is ONLY the parents who are "d.s.s." ..desperately seeking status!
there is a whole social structure built right into the halloween trick or treat process. griff and i learned early on that "p.p.p." (parents pleasing parents)never works out to the kids' best advantage!
so many mixes to consider!
convenient just seems to backfire....in the kids case, convenient may be the kids who are conveniently located, but the friendships can't withstand the test of time...even if for a couple of hours on halloween.
family friends is nice for everyone when the kids have their own level of comfort... BUT, geographically, a challenge.
neighborhood friends seem to fall together naturally, although the mix of ages or parenting styles may differ.
playgroup friends are great if they're STILL friends!
of all so the mixes, we have witnessed many a social dilemma, drama and debacle developed by either giving into or foaming at mouth for the elusive social status friending!there are some mild dramas based on the children's choices...but, given their own devices, kids usually sort it out very genuinely on their own.....it's the parents who upset the bobbing apple cart!
so having all of the figured out after 14 years of trick or treating with children, we picked our children up at school on friday, october 30th, and headed to boston!....to a town that shall remain nameless! yes, it was to visit our greatest friends for kids and parents, even parenting styles, ages and styles, mixing and sharing.....a regular mutual admiration society! basically, a lovefest for all! who can ask for more....even if it was a 250 mile drive. we were all happy from the moment the plans started to evolve....and we don't know yet whether the parents or the kids suggested the weekend, but we made it!
we left connecticut with smiles on our faces. AFTER the week of costume drama and swine flu.
oh, and did i mention the involvement of getting someone to watch our dogs and cats and fish. we love them all. never in my life did i intend to be like this, but i have a little separation anxiety when we leave the dogs. the cats think it's their house anyway. they have no concerns. they know the mortgage payments, the furniture, the appliances, the electronics and even the dogs, are there for them....just to accommodate them.
the dogs, however, want to come with us. they know that when our car doors open, they are supposed to run, jump and hang there heads out the windows, smiling and drooling and ready for there next adventure! preferably, at or near a beautiful beach where they can run with no leashes, recklessly tromp through the reeds and romp through the waves, joyously chasing seagulls and WAIT WAIT WAIT! that's there version...
...instead, it is quietly and gently explained to them, with tears in my eyes, that we will be back soon and we will have only THE most loving friends at home to stay with them. then, i begin to consider very limited options. i even called my niece to see if she wanted to plan a weekend with dogs, oops!, i mean, college friends in connecticut! "NO"...PLANS... i made her tell me specific plans so i knew that she wasn't just faking me out! o.k., she's 25 and maybe she had better options! i think NOT! next, i called a great neighbor, just out of college, job hunting, in the process of moving, needs extra cash....busy for halloween! i doubted her....oh come on, what could be better? i called lots of wonderful dog sitters....we called some wonderful neighbors famous for being our backup, chaos created, emergency dog visitors, lovers and savers.....i think they feel for the dogs and cats, living with our mix ups! i also called "Q.B."(quiet boy), a very nice college boy who has started a business walking dogs BUT, he is quiet! not just quiet...QUIET...we trust that he does a good job because the dogs always look "happy" when we return. but since he chooses to save energy by speaking less, we don't know what he does. so since "Q.B" is taking care of things, we also have our most wonderful neighbors also come just to give the dogs love....and,since they are dog lovers like us, they will.
o.k., i'll admit, that on account of our own confusion, we have actually had friends and neighbors bumping into each other in the driveway! better safe than sorry! hey, DON'T JUDGE! that's not fair!
friday, just in time for a wonderful dinner, we arrived in boston! with about a half hour to spare, all of the parents had to get dressed for a halloween party. i never got around to mentioning THAT! our friends were dressed as a college mascot and a cheerleader...AWESOME and homemade, complete with paper mache head and feathers!(for the mascot, that is)...
my husband pulled out his hand made, sewing machine sewn(by HIM, in the early 1980's), uncle sam outfit complete with top hat, tails, striped pants, stars and striped bow tie (also handmade!) AND white gloves!
my idea was to wear my wedding dress...that's another story. hey WAIT! it fit! just that, it seemed like a fun idea to go dressed as "aunt samantha"!
i had all of the coordinating red, white and blue with sparkly silver shoes, sparkle red and sparkle blue material....only i had to sew by hand lots of the pieces and glue on the red white and blue sparkly stars! i called ahead, from 15 minutes away and asked to have the needle, thread and fabric glue at the ready! thank goodness our friends are dependable! with minutes to go, the sparkles were sewn on the blue tennis skirt, the red mesh stockings and sparkly shoes were on....had a few sewing stitches done with surgeons needle and thread, a shawl was created with sparkles and the american flag sunglasses...the glue...DRY!
and to the adams family house we went....with gomez and mortisha,a priest, a banana, awicked witch and her flying monkey, a helicopter mom, an eskimo, the swine flu couple and more. now, that it's all over....HALLOWEEN IS GREAT! til next year....
oh wait, the kids got dressed in totally different things than we planned and purchased, went trick or treating with friends and had a ball! and shared candy!
oops, in all of the confusion, i never mentioned the college football game, the painted t shirts, the face paint and wigs(school colors, of course)and the mascot dressed dad....after all, it's all about halloween! and then, night time trick or treating and lots of laughs!
keep it simple...as simple as we can....life is good for all and it's the moments! and the memories!!