Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Best. Halloween. EVER.

This afternoon was the school parade. I dressed up and headed over to see my Squirtle and Luigi show off their costumes. They were adorable. Joey was especially cute- he almost walked by me, but recognized me at the last minute... "Mommy! You're a witch!"

In fact, he had no clue I was going to be a witch, because when he left for school, I had no costume. I got our porch ready in record time, and realized I had time to make one, and a need to go to the fabric store to get Joey a mustache. A few yards of different sparkly webby fabrics and a couple hours later, and bingo! Witch costume to go with the awesome hat my mom bought me.

We've found a little niche in our neighborhood. A family around the corner has kids a little younger than mine, but in terms of interests and energy, they are a total match. And they LOVE Joey and Andy.

The mom is Italian, and so she is discovering American holidays. She did a great job with decorations and dressing up, and getting into the holiday spirit.

Better yet, they decided to have a little Halloween party. Her kids came around the corner to invite my kids! They were so excited- their first Halloween party! The excitement of having friends around the corner who make effort to invite them over and get excited to see them was already the treat of the year- but to be invited to a real neighborhood Halloween party was the best.

And the kids enjoyed it, too.

Pizza, cake, and offers of beer (I didn't take the beer because we still have trick-or-treating ahead of us) is an amazing thing. Seriously.

Then it came time to go out and raid the neighbors for candy. Andy realized he was going to get to go with his friends, as a group, and he was beside himself with happiness. Adults stationed up and down the street, plus two adults with the group, plus me... heaven opened and shined upon our town. Even better, as Joey started to lag, one of the adults turned and said, "Don't worry, you guys take your time, I've got the Squirtle!" Andy didn't have to chomp at the bit waiting for Joey, he could just go with his friends.

See, this family, though their kids are not special needs? They get it. They understand that kids have different needs and stages and development, and that you do what is needful for each one. And they think Andy is awesome. And they think Joey is awesome. And what is super awesome, is that they are absolutely right.

And they get it not just with my kids, but all the families of the neighborhood. They are glad to have everybody tumble into their house and enjoy themselves, and be together, and be themselves. They wouldn't have it any other way.

So Joey and I got to do what Joey needed- methodical house-to-house, with prompts as needed and a few moments to talk with each person. Joey loves to tell each person he visits something- commenting on their pumpkins, or that Halloween is fun, or that Luigi is Mario's younger but taller brother, or... each time, not just "thanks, bye!" but an attempt to connect. And thankfully, everyone in the neighborhood has learned to just take it in stride. Even the new folks- college kids that change every year, or new houses we hit- they all were patient and happy to meet Joey. Not a single one tried to dismiss him or hurry him off their porch this year. Not. One.

How awesome is that?

And when Joey got tired, I walked him home to Dad and Grandma, and then went back to get Andy from the house around the corner. WE stayed and let him play for a few minutes, and I talked with the adults for those few minutes. You know, adults. Grown-ups. With grown-up conversation. It was awesome.

So this definitely wins best Halloween ever.

I think the kids enjoyed it, too.

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