My triumph this Halloween is Noah's costume. He requested a Ned Nederlander costume, from The Three Amigos, and I have to say, I totally came through. All I had to do was order a time machine online, then set it to 1986 and go back to the day when Three Amigos costumes were actually on sale in stores. What could be easier than that?
I'll tell you what isn't easier: gluing thousands of sequins on an altered suit in exactly the right pattern to mimic Little Neddy Knickers' costume. Fortunately, the sequins were on a strand, so it's not like I was hand piecing every one, but it still took many, many hours of work. Ryan even pitched in and did a section while I was at school, bless him.
I could not be prouder of this costume. Noah is the only child of mine that I would do this for, for the simple reason that he's the only one who would appreciate a costume like this. He's the one, if you recall, who wore his Spiderman costume for, what, six months after Halloween because he loved Spiderman so much. Grocery store, library, he'd wear it everywhere we'd let him. After that it was Star Wars, then Harry Potter, then Star Wars again. I doubt that he'll wear this one to the same extent, mostly because he's older, but costumes matter to him in a way that my other kids can't possibly rival.
Take, for example, Brad. This year he wanted the Scream costume with the mask that has blood running through it. It's gross and scary and what more do you expect from an 11-year-old boy? I, for one, would have expected him to at least WEAR THE MASK!!! Honestly, why did we buy it if he wasn't going to wear it? He left today to go trick-or-treat with some friends in another neighborhood, and decided not to bring the mask. I'm not sure of the real reason, but the reason he gave was that he couldn't see out of the mask and he didn't want to be hindered while he ran from house to house. Hmph. He's smart enough to know that if he claims "Safety first!" as his excuse that I won't call him on it. But I still think he owes me $30. Although the fact that the remainder of his costume is basically a black witch's dress might be punishment enough.
Zack is Indiana Jones, and his costume came together easily and cheaply. Tan pants from Savers, a tan shirt we already had, and a hat we got from a Cub Scout cowboy-themed activity years ago. He uses a belt as a whip, a true throwback to the 1930's era. No coat, though, and that might be a problem if it gets chillier. The weather is great right now, at 5 p.m. it's 68 degrees, but it's threatening rain. You won't hear me complaining about global warming when it gives us such delightful Halloween weather. (Update: we had a smattering of rain, but it only came down hard for a couple of minutes, otherwise it's been beautiful.)
Darcey, my little angel, thank you for being a girl! One of my neighbors has all girls, and she brought me over a ballerina costume which Darcey loves. She keeps picking up the tulle skirt and saying "Pretty! Pretty!" This costume alone might have been worth having a fourth kid. I love being the mother of a girlie girl!!
I took Darcey (in a stroller) and Zack around the neighborhood for an hour or so, with my neighbor Jen and her boys. It was fun - Zack and Davey are both old enough to "get" Halloween, but young enough that they are satisfied pretty easily. In fact, at one point Zack just said, "Let's go home" so we did. Noah and Josh went with Ryan and they lasted longer (and probably hit a lot more houses in that time), and Brad is still out with a friend. Brad is testing the hypothesis that the rich houses further up the hill from us give out substantially better treats, which makes up for the houses being farther apart (and also, uphill).
The best, best part of Halloween is that the family two houses up from us hosts huge outdoor gathering, with fire barrels and homemade chili with whatever kind of animal he hunted this year. It is festive and happy, and the whole neighborhood comes and goes the whole evening, making our cul-de-sac a happening place. It reminds me just how much I love this neighborhood - people are caring and thoughtful and friendly and welcoming, and I love it. My kids have good friends here, from good families and it feels like a giant support system. So my very favorite part of Halloween is seeing all of my friends and neighbors. And there's tons of candy involved, which is just icing on the cake. I think I really like Halloween.