I think this is the first year I'm finding the end-of-October festivities to be more fun than overwhelming.
First of all, my husband is home. Even though he really hasn't done much, other than add some creative suggestions, it just makes everything better.
Secondly, neither the church nor the homeschool group has had a volunteer step forward to organize an All Saint's Day party, so I have only one costume to worry about. Yes, I know some people restrict their children to just the saint costume, and more power to you. My kids and my husband enjoy more traditional Halloween costumes. And this is the one time of year that I consent to add to the dress up bin. So I'm happy there's no saint party...call me evil; I'll call me less stressed.
Thirdly, my youngest is 3. That makes a huge difference.
And then, this year, I have found my older children have finally reached an age where they are very useful in envisioning and creating their own costumes and very helpful in assisting with younger siblings' costumes and very cooperative in accepting homemade alternatives to store-bought perfection. Katie wants to be a cat. Older brothers offer and produce black baseball pants, black socks and a black turtleneck shirt. She finds me ingenious when I use pink nail polish to paint black foam ears with a triangle for the inner ear. Years ago, she would have insisted (did insist) on a store-bought costume.
And, as influential as I am with my kids, nothing beats having an older brother to convince a 5 year old that his navy blue church pants are perfect to go with the borrowed, yellow firefighter coat. He had wanted red pants, and I had dreaded informing him that we don't happen to own red pants. Problem solved by my 12 year old.
Fritz sprang a costume idea on me yesterday afternoon, which I would not normally permit. But it is so funny and so easy that I jumped right in. When Bill came home, he saw our work, said that his office was having dress up on Friday and he thought he'd steal Fritz's for the day. It has me giggling, since I'm sure most people in his office think he's the most humorless man to walk the planet. I will be sure to post pictures tomorrow, but won't spoil the surprise today.
We're definitely having fun here, and that's a really nice change.