Last year I tried to do a “Thankful Thursday” post each Thursday of November. I am going to do the same this year…because, well, I have a LOT to be thankful for this year. To start, I am incredibly thankful for our 2012 Halloween experience. It was such a good day that I really don’t know where to begin.
Hmm….well, Tate decided a week ago that he was going to be a spider. Like I said in my prior post, it was ironic, in that he is fascinated/repulsed by spiders. On Tuesday night I readied his costume for school. I pinned his spider legs onto a gray and black hoodie. He was skeptical, and kept telling me that he didn’t need the costume. I reassured him that his friends would all be dressing up, too. He perked up a bit with that. I told him that Jake would wear a costume in his classroom. He allowed me to put the spider-hoodie in a bag and set it next to his backpack.
That night, we talked, again, about the Halloween party at school. I did a rough social story about his party, and the games that would be played, and the snacks, and the costumes. I made sure to include that he would be with his mainstream class, and that there would be 21 (too much, mommy!!) kids, and how if he got “scared” or “nervous” or “tired” he could go back to his homeroom. He seemed ok, and he slept through the night…until 4:30 am…but hey, that’s better than where we’ve been!
Tate made it very clear to me when he woke up on Halloween morning that he was going to school, there was no ABA that day, and that he would be a spider at school. I was NOT invited. “You stay home, Mommy.” I assured him that I would not be at his party. I did let him know I would be at school. I was working in Jake’s classroom during his party. He was indifferent, but didn’t panic, so I took that as a good sign.
Jake was super excited about Halloween. He was up at 4:30 am with Tate. I heard them chattering in Jake’s room. He talked non-stop when he finally emerged from his room at the approved 6 am time. He was also really excited that I’d be in his classroom later in the day. He gets a bit more scattered when his excitement levels are high. He couldn’t find his shoes…but he found both of his library books. He didn’t remember to zip his backpack, but he remembered to bring mittens in case his hands got cold at recess. We managed to get him out of the door in one piece!!
I was able to get stuff done around the house in order to prepare for Halloween. I finished up my party items for Jake’s class and loaded them into the van, with a little help from my main man, Cole. Then I did some pick-up and clean up around the house in preparation for a few neighbors and Hubz’s parents’ visit later that day. I was feeling accomplished..and not very rushed, which eased my anxiety about Tate at school for the entire day. With a party. And lots of sugar. And excitement. And 20 other first graders. Oy!
Once I got to the school, there was a flurry of activity as all of the moms (and a few dads) got ready to celebrate Halloween. The other room moms and I got the classroom mostly set up, and then we went to watch the school costume parade. I was a little worried that Tate would not be ok with seeing me at the parade, but I was wrong. He waved and said hi. He smiled. And he was wearing his costume!!! Jake smiled for me as I took his picture. He said hi, and I was so relieved that I still was semi-cool..and he wasn’t embarrassed to see me.
The party went well in Jake’s room. Third graders are a lot of fun–when you have to entertain them on a limited basis. They played games, enjoyed some crafts, made hilarious faces with our mystery boxes…and enjoyed some sugary goodness, thanks to a bunch of very generous parents! After the party was over, Jake and I walked to Tate’s classroom to get him. He was all smiles. His teacher told me how great he did at the party. He didn’t have to leave once. He kept his spider hoodie on the entire time. He participated in games. He laughed. He was happy. I got teary…she understood.
We came home to Hubz and Cole. Hubz had some chili simmering in the crockpot. The house smelled great..and I was on cloud 9 after making it through the 3rd grade party AND hearing about Tate’s great day at school. The boys had some great down time. We let them watch a little tv, and they had some decent snacks. They just got to be..and they needed it.
At about 4:30, Hubz took the boys outside to play with the neighbor kids. They were getting their excitement out before we embarked on our trick-or-treat adventure. A few minutes later they clamored back into the house to get their costumes. Tate was a little resistant (he’d already worn his costume that day), but he did put on his coat with the spider legs. Cole had a last minute costume change to Buzz Lightyear (his best friend at preschool was Buzz, and that totally sealed the deal for Cole to change his mind–thankfully we had the costume from when Jake was younger). Jake put on his Hawkeye gear–and proudly carried his bow and arrow! They even let me take their pictures on the front porch…and I had a couple that were actually acceptable enough to post on Facebook–whoohoo!!
My boys went trick-or-treating with the neighbors. They did great. Tate wore his costume. And rang a few doorbells. And said, “Trick-or-treat!”. And said, “thank you!”. He kept up. He had fun. He “got” the concept. Now, his bucket of candy will sit on the counter where it will be picked over by his brothers and me…he isn’t a big candy fan…and he doesn’t live for Halloween…but he got to be a part of something with his brothers and the neighbors, and he knew it. And he loved it. And it made me all teary-eyed to think that our little guy is so, totally progressing….and proving even us wrong, sometimes. I wasn’t sure he could do it…but he did. He got tired. He sat on the sidewalk a few times. He sometimes even just walked up to the door, but didn’t trick-or-treat because it would get to be too much….but he did it. And he did it well.
As the night came to a close, I think my boys did great. We bathed the younger two to help them calm down for bed. And to bed they went…where they stayed until 6 am today. Minor miracle.
So, yeah….a LOT to be thankful for yesterday…and every day.