Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

The night Zack wore his wolf suit,
and made mischief
of one kind
and another...

Wait. That's not mine.

Zack was a Big Bad Wolf, however. It was inspired by his love of the story of the three little pigs, not Where the Wild Things Are, but he was very pleased when we read the latter and he noticed the similarity of suit. We could ask why he chooses the villain (ah, that Mr. McGreggor of Halloween 2007!), but that will have to be another post.

My sister and I had lots of fun making these costumes from instructions on Martha's show. Well, we made Zack and Sammy's from instructions on the show and Julie improvised the lion very cleverly. I knew having a ridiculous supply of random craft stuff would pay off! Wait. I think we bought just as much as we used from my stash. Darnit. My Halloween confession is that I was a bit wistful that she was doing an original creation and I was just following an existing design, which is crazy. Sigh. But, it was a good thing I made myself stick to the pattern, since I had that second kid thing going on. Creativity gets old when you finish and then have to start again. We did the costumes a few days ahead of time so that by the day of Halloween I was refreshed and happy to quickly make a Huff And Puff And The Pig Gets Blown Down treat bag - I crack myself up.

The actual trick or treating was lots of fun. I have a bias against all these candy-focused holidays (exactly what's the message to our children?), but I was determined to set it aside for tonight and just enjoy. Lo and behold, nobody burst into flame or even exploded from sugar rush. The candy consumption did not spiral out of control when I let down my guard. Go figure.

And I noticed something much better than candy this year. I think our neighborhood was more neighborly. A few weeks ago our block participated in the National Night Out and although it is sponsored by police for crime prevention, it paid more dividends for our street in overall community. The friendliness seems to have carried over. Even for those whose names we had forgotten, we had at least a recognition that enabled us to stop and visit over the kids costumes or the balmy evening.

A few years ago, after reading Making Room for Life, James and I started sitting out in the driveway after Zack went to bed, lounging in our camp chairs and drinking Izzes, visiting with each other and neighbors as we got the opportunity. Unfortunately we seem to keep later hours than our neighbors and they are mostly in for the night before we are even out (even so, that's our best talking time, away from the visible chores that need done an the temptation of the TV and *ahem* the computer). One set of neighbors does come out and visit, so that's one more relationship forming. This Halloween there were many couples and families in chairs on their driveways or porches, welcoming the kids, visiting with the adults. It was a joy to see community formation in action, the connections being made and strengthened. We we got back from trick or treating ourselves, we set up our chairs outside to hand out candy and visited with many as they came by. I think Halloween was even better for the parents than it was for the kids.

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