As my kids have gotten older, I am enjoying Halloween more and more. They are all big enough that they help work on the pumpkins, they have definite opinions about their costumes, and when we trick-or-treat, they all run up to the door by themselves while we, the proud parents, stand from the edge of the driveway watching.
This year I really got into it, y'all. I decided on candy containers weeks before hand. In years past we've done the plastic pumpkins, the themed plastic ones that tend to fall apart if too much candy is in them, and we've even bought the fancy decorated bags. This year I decided once again to do bags, but I decided to get all June Cleaver with it. (May she rest in peace.) I bought black canvas tote bags and a variety of puff paints and let my kids have at it. They had a blast with it, the bags were uniquely THEM, they got compliments when we were out trick-or-treating, and they were proud. Heck, I was proud too, of myself for thinking of it, and of them for being so creative.
Then it was on to pumpkin carving. Otherwise known as "Where Meghann learns the valuable lesson: Pie pumpkins really aren't meant to be carved" Each year we get two big pumpkins for the adults, and four smaller pumpkins for the kids. Usually we get them from a local church that hosts a pumpkin patch, but this year I was lazy. I found myself at the store a few days before Halloween, rummaging through the sad pile of pumpkins that had been rejected by everyone else. I should have known there was a problem when we had to break out a saw to get the tops off the kids' pumpkins. The rinds on them had a layer that looked, and was just as hard as, wood. We ended up having to use a drill to make dots along the designs the kids had drawn. The kids that wanted to work were then able to kind of hack their way through. Some of the kids opted out and left it to me to carve. I really don't blame them. It was so hard that my hand hurt for hours afterward. Logan, bless him, did his whole one by himself, even though it took him about an hour.
Every year my pumpkin is a secret. I spend the whole month of October deciding, and then I create a template and transfer it to the pumpkin in a different room from everyone else. I'm very stubborn about it not being seen until I am done. In the past I've done a haunted house with ghosts, Batman, and a Wild Thing pumpkin. This year, with some brainstorming with my sister, I ended up doing one of the most epic characters of all time. Spaceman Spiff. He turned out pretty well I think.
Costumes were, once again, a big deal this year. Ryan decided pretty quickly, as did Logan. (A SWAT guy and skeleton, respectively.) The girls both wanted to be zombies though. I burst with pride and excitement at the opportunity, and helped them decide on what kind of zombie. In the end we went with zombie cheerleaders, and I'm happy to say that it was as epic as I thought it would be.
Click here to see a photo album chock full of everything I just talked about!
Ok, then on to trick or treating, and this is where I'll segue into my rant. We had a great time trick-or-treating, and we covered almost 2 miles of neighborhood. The kids got a ton of loot, and everyone went home happy. Well, there was ONE damper on our whole evening. The amount of effin' CARS. I'm not talking about normal people just driving through the neighborhood to get somewhere. (although that does annoy me, because HELLO it's Halloween and there are a million kids everywhere. Where do you have to go that's so important? Especially the ones that don't even SLOW DOWN???) So yeah, that annoys me, but I can deal with it. The thing that I got more and more pissed off about as the night went on, were the amount of people DRIVING house to house. Um, NEWSFLASH, we don't live in the country where houses are far apart. This is a regular neighborhood. With millions of kids darting all over the place. And it's dark. W....T....H?!?!? I think I saw no less than 10 cars of people doing it. It's not like they had some good reason either, like a handicapped child or bad weather. No, these were perfectly capable people being lazy turds, making the whole night more dangerous for the rest of us. (And the weather that night was PERFECT.) In one cul-de-sac, my kids had to dodge not one, but two vans full of people who were caravaning through the neighborhood. They pulled up to the house my kids were about to go to, and a ton of kids piled out of the vans and ran up to the door right in front of my kids.
I kept my cool at the time, but it was really hard. The amount of candy kids get on Halloween is supposed to be tempered with the fact that they had to do some work and exercise to get it. Not to mention the whole community aspect of it. Walking the streets of the neighborhood, exchanging smiles and greetings with neighbors you might not have ever seen before, and seeing all the kids in their costumes. It's one of my favorite parts of the whole thing. On one hand, it makes me sad what the people driving are teaching their kids. On the other hand, I'm pissed off that not only are they being lazy and missing out on the community, they are making it even more dangerous for everyone else.
Here it is more than 24 hours later, and I'm still just as flabbergasted about it as I was when we were trick-or-treating. Can anyone shed any light on what in the world is going through these people's minds?