Tomorrow, Halloween, my not-so-little-anymore town will host its 68th Annual Halloween Parade. This thing is huge. In fact it is so huge, it's reportedly the 2nd largest Halloween Parade in the world. I didn't make that up. They say that on the event web site.
Now, hosting the world's second largest parade complicates the holiday a bit. See, people are so busy on Halloween camping out on the streets as early as they possibly can that no one can trick-or-treat. At least no one can trick-or-treat on October 31st. The town's work-around is to move Trick-or-Treat by a day. For as long as I can remember, we've had mischief night on 10/29. Trick-or-treat 10/30 and huge-ass parade on 10/31.
That means today we had little goblins and princesses ringing the doorbell. At first we thought of not taking our two little infirmed imps out. Then we reconsidered. The boy could go. He was, based on his energy level and attitude, feeling 110% better outside of the small issue the antibiotic was causing for his instestinal tract. He could go out. The little whiney, clingy one could not.
The boy donned his fireman costume, grabbed his plastic pumpkin bucket and dragged Daddy out for some candy gathering. When they left I stitched a part of a fuzzy black boa to the back of the little sicko's black leggings. I painted a small pink nose over her nose and added a few whiskers in black. I dropped the black furry cat-ear headband on her head. If she wasn't going out, at least she could answer the door all spiffed up and besides, she was going over to see the grandparents later in the afternoon.
Medicine, however, is a fantastic thing. A dose of antibiotics and some motrin later, little Megan was back to being her chipper self. In fact if we didn't know better we'd think she was perfectly healthy. As she started to giggle at me taking her picture, I decided to take her with me out to the sidewalk to see if I could get a shot of Logan out on tour. We had to cross the street and walk down a house to do so.
Meg, once again hellbent on doing everything her brother does, had dragged the other, smaller, plastic pumpkin bucket out with us. When she saw Logan marching up the next driveway, she squirmed and wiggled until I let her down. She marched herself right up to the door next to Logan and stood, holding her pumpkin out. My little one-year old seemed to innately know what to do. . .
The door opened.
The kind neighbor smiled at the two little ones holding their plastic buckets out.
Logan, a veteran trick-or-treater having gone out for the first time last year, held up his and said the requisite "Trick or Treat!" followed by a nice "thank you" as the candy was dropped in.
Megan held her bucket as high as she could. She smiled at the neighbor and she yelled "BOO!" And then she tried her hardest to be polite. She has two sounds that she seems to use often at points where you'd expect a nice thank you. She used those sounds then.
She followed Logan down the front path, stopping at the driveway to reach in her bucket and find out what she'd gotten. She happily trotted along, pumpkin in one hand, junior mints in another. She didn't care when we dropped her mints in our distribution bowl and handed her a Teddy-Gram. She was just thrilled to have been "big."
We brought the kids to my parents'. Megan knew what to do. She walked herself to the front door, saw her Grandmother waiting there with the candy bowl and yelled "BOO!" We decided to let her go with us to the few houses Logan would go to on that block. She decided to partake in the first few with him. He'd go to the ones his little friends lived in or to neighbors he knew. He'd make small talk. He'd get candy. He'd ask for a second piece so his grandmother could have one too. He's always looking at for us. I think he even gathered Daddy a roll of Smarties and I get all his gum.
After a few houses, Megan got bored of the whole deal. And that's fine by me. Normallly I have this thing about kids that can't actually *say* trick-or-treat, let alone eat the candy, going out door-to-door for something Dad's going to end up eating. Logan wasn't taken out until he was 2. Meg was only along for the ride. She spent her afternoon collecting sticks and leaves and getting up close and personal to the lawn decorations. She'd attempt to scare every scarecrow and wave to every dog. She had a grand time and if nothing else, she loved being dressed up. She'd take a moment to adjust the cat ears if they slipped too far forward. She'd look up at you, scrunch her little nose up and say "Mow, mow!" (which is the closest she can get to Meowing.)
So we had this rule when we started the day - no sick kids out even if it meant missing Halloween. But we broke the rule. And at the end of the day, when Megan re-dressed into her pajamas pointed up to the little orange plastic bucket and said "My pumpnin," I sort of felt breaking the rules was ok. And if I doubted it, when Logan sighed after story time and said "Mommy, today I had a great day," I didn't doubt again. These two little imps have been locked up in the house for nearly a week. They needed a little time outside on an unusually warm late October afternoon. They needed the fun. And this year, having the world's 2nd largest Halloween parade, meant we had a means to deliver it to them in a special way that didn't include breathing directly on others. :)