Happiness is seeing the spirit of Halloween in full force. That’s right – I said the SPIRIT of Halloween. I am not talking about the blood, gore, and fright. The tomb stones, skeletons and zombies adorning our neighbors’ yards are also not what warms my heart. However, watching our three boys exemplifying all things good and kind on Halloween truly makes me proud and happy.
All three kids had been looking forward to the day for quite some time. We had talked about their costume choices for months. Their decisions were finalized weeks in advance. The outfits were bought in plenty of time to even collect a small layer of dust in their closets.
Halloween, in our family, is the official kick-off to our busy season of happy occasions and celebrations. Trick or Treating is followed closely by Jansen’s birthday and then Jordan’s birthday right before Thanksgiving. After we indulge on all the turkey-goodness the kids love a month of “elf on the shelf” games (aka extreme mama performance anxiety – but that’s another blog post soon to be composed). Thankfully the elf-shenanigans are brought to a halt at Christmas. Jesus’ birthday party is followed by Dada’s birthday and New Years Eve, (which is not a big party moment for us – we would rather celebrate every new day we are granted instead of just one). Finally our months of events are closed out with mama’s birthday (one of THE MOST important dates for my boys to learn and remember). However in 2014 the party will continue through Baby Jonah’s inaugural birthday – some time in mid to late January.
So as you can see, our small gathering of children have a good reason to be excited about the arrival of Halloween – and all the happiness that will follow. However on Halloween every parent expects their fair share of sugar highs and food-dye-induced meltdowns. We left the house to go trick or treating with plenty of day light still in the sky. Our kids are young and do not always have the energy to be out late, so we thought we would get an early start on the festivities.
And this is when the two oldest started to exhibit extremely sweet and caring behavior. Of course they did not get this from strangers, we are constantly reminding them to be kind to their younger brother. However, the distance between our intentions and what actually is demonstrated by our children is sometimes very far.
Our little family of five walked up and down our street, visiting neighbors and friends while the boys’ buckets were filled with candy and other treats. Jacob and Jordan were kind enough to remember their baby brother, who is not quite two years old. They didn’t run down the street ahead of us, like they have in previous years. They waited ever so patiently for Jansen’s little legs to carry him from house to house at his quiet toddler pace.
All three boys were polite, waited to be offered the candy bowl and always only took one piece. Jansen is the silent type and still too young to actually verbalize “trick or treat”, but his brothers made up for his lack of words and most of the time remembered to say “thank you”. After about an hour of collecting candy all three boys ASKED to go home! So we obliged – with a smile. At home the parade of trick or treating children was non-stop for another few hours. Jansen and Jordan were THRILLED to hand out candy.
I had been a little nervous to see how our “baby” would handle the concept of giving away candy. Here we had just shown him how to gather these beautifully wrapped sweets, and now we were expecting him to fork over little nuggets of deliciousness as if his life depended on it. Well, he certainly embraced the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, in that he gave more than he took. He handed over fist-fulls of candy to children of all ages. He smiled sweetly at the butterflies, mermaids and even the blood covered monsters who appeared at our door – all the while his little hands kept giving away as many pieces of candy as would fit in them.
So between the love and caring attitude that our two oldest exemplified towards their baby brother, and Jansen’s generosity and willingness to give more than he received – I feel it’s safe to say that our holiday season will be merry and bright – thanks to all the positive lessons learned during Halloween.
What wonderful behavior did your children exhibit on Halloween? Were you able to enjoy the evening with your kids, forgetting about the long to-do list waiting for you? Did you celebrate Halloween in the NOW?