Every year, my husband Curt, attends a week long conference, normally in some exotic location, at the end of October. It often falls in, on, or around Halloween and this year was no exception. The kids and I were totally bummed that he'd miss Halloween again and I was trying to figure out how I could take four kids trick-or-treating AND stay home and pass out candy to all the cute neighborhood kids. I found myself wishing Kathy, our surrogate grandma from Illinois, could come over and then it dawned on me... My own, flesh and blood mom, now only lives 20 minutes away! Maybe she and Terry could come and help me and spend the evening together.
I called her and they had the evening open, so we planned a night full of activities. We'd trick or treat in our neighborhood, eat supper, then drive to our church, about 15 miles away, for a huge Harvest party. We were all so excited. However, the day before Halloween, our family bought a house that I was so excited to show my Mom and Terry, so we skooched everything on our agenda back so we could add "view the new house" to the agenda.
We met at Big Blue at 4:30, kids in full costume. We lolly-gagged our way through the home, oohing and ahhing at all the stuff I didn't notice the first two times I'd been through it and trying to figure out who would get the different rooms upstairs, what colors I'd paint the walls, and where we'd place furniture. Terry played hide and seek with the kids (in a big, empty house) and Katie won the award for the best hiding spot: in the bathtub!
We headed back to our house and I wanted Mom and Terry to meet a few of my friends, so before we knew it, we were trick or treating on our street. The kids didn't have any buckets and Paige was doing her best to keep a tight grasp on all her candy as it kept spilling out of her tiny fists. We stopped at our garage and I miraculously found a box marked "seasonal" within 30 seconds. Shocked at my good fortune, I torn the lid off, expecting to find plastic pumpkins with handles for the kids to use to gather their candy. Problem was, this was the EASTER box, so I dug out four Easter baskets and Mom, Terry, Grant, Katie, Alli and Paige headed out for some trick or treating while I made supper.
The plan was to scarf down our meal and then head to church, but everyone was having so much fun that our evening morphed into living in the moment. We ate mac and cheese soup and then the kids and Mom and Terry sat on the front porch passing out candy to all the kids, big and little, who were trick or treating. Our street came ALIVE. I never knew a town could have so much fun on Halloween. Neighbors pulled their fire pits into their driveways and were sitting around the campfire passing out candy, hot chocolate and even chili! The sidewalks were packed with groups of kids and grownups and everyone was laughing and having so much fun. We blew through two HUGE bags of candy from Costco, so I emptied the Easter baskets and sent the kids and grandparents out trick or treating for more candy. While they were gone, I raided their candy they had already gathered and passed it out.
Paige wouldn't let her basket out of sight. She carried it around with her everywhere and would often cast a playful, dirty look at Grandpa Terry and say, "It's my candy. Don't you eat it." Since Grandpa and Grandma were in charge and she knew she could get away with it, she started eating candy and didn't stop for two hours. She'd take a piece, bring it to Grandma and say, "Open dis please" then pop it in her mouth. When that piece was gone, she'd repeat. It was hysterical.
Finally, at 9 p.m., the time the party at church was ending and WAY past my kids' bedtime, we called it a night. Grandpa and Grandma left, the kids piled their dirty costumes on the laundry room floor, scrubbed their teeth for 5 minutes each, and fell into bed. The evening was definitely a big TREAT!