How quickly time passes. It seems like just yesterday that Maddux was a dressing up as a baby bee and Eli was a miniature monkey. Now the kids pick their own costumes, voice their opinions about which houses to visit, and have more fun with their friends than mom and dad on Halloween night. Sigh.
Last night was loads of fun, but it was bittersweet. We started the night walking up to the 'the rock' for the annual neighborhood Halloween parade. We met Virginia and William in the cul-de-sac for many pictures first, of course. Once at the rock, it was costumed mayhem. At least the kids stayed with us for the walk down, but they were more interested in walking with their friends than with us. Maddux stayed glued to Virginia's hip and Eli was back and forth between William and Drew. At one point Eli and Drew were holding hands, just like they did a few times at swim meets this summer....total best buds. Because of all the time we spent at the pool this summer, and Eli going to school with so many neighborhood kids, all I heard all night was, "ELI!" or "MADDUX!" And I only knew about 1/3 of the kids belonging to the voices. Crazy.
We ate a quick meal of pizza at the pool before the costume contest. When Maddux was a bee (three whole years ago!!) she won for her age group. This year there were several baby bees - totally sad for Mommy. While Maddux and Davis waiting in their age group, THEY were holding hands. I love that!
Soon after we started our trick-or-treat walk back to our side of the neighborhood (about a mile away). The only real rules we had for the kids that night were stay where we can see you and don't run through people's yards. I'd discussed this a few times with the kids already, reminding them that other kids would be cutting through grass, but there would still be candy for them when they got there. Then we talked about why we shouldn't run through lawns and flower beds, etc. and they totally got it. But you KNOW it all went out the window as soon as the fun started. Just before we began I reminded them that if they run through the grass, they had to skip 3 houses. (Gotta make it hurt to make the point quick, right?) It worked! Eli violated right away. And even though I felt like a big bad mommy for holding him back for three houses, he didn't do it again. And Drew and Davis stayed with us all night and they had the same rule. It was awesome.
At one point, our little group turned right while most of the rest of the neighborhood went straight, leaving us on a road with almost no other kids. It was kinda nice that way...less craziness, more conversations between the kids.... By the time we were about 3/4 of the way home, Eli and Maddux were occasionally skipping houses on their own because they had 'enough candy' (according to them). What a great night!
This morning the kids and I discussed all of the candy we got. They'd each had several pieces during trick-or-treating, plus one before bed. After they choose one for their snack this afternoon, they are each picking their favorite 10 pieces and we're donating the rest to the troops. I honestly got NO fight from them on this. Maddux even told me she was going to give one of her full-sized candy bars to the 'sol-ders'. Really really really cool kids, they are turning out to be.