Ok, now normally I use Halloween as a chance to be out and about in my neighbourhood. I know there's this big controversy and everything among Christians about it being the devil's day and all that. And certainly I am very sensitive to allowing influences from the spirit realm into our lives and the easy danger that can be. But when it comes to Halloween, I remember all the innocent fun I had with my brothers when I was a kid. As far as I am concerned, our kids have lost too much already. They can't play outside after school with the carefree attitude that we had, our world is much too dangerous for that these days. So, I say let them have what fun they can while they're young.
That said, this year I find myself suddenly so busy, and D ended up having to work both Sunday night and pulling a 12 hour shift on Monday, so he certainly wasn't around to help. J was going to a friend's house, as usual. Which left me, R and "the dog" on our own for the evening. Alone with a house to decorate, candies to buy, candies to shell out - and we normally get 100-150 kids coming around in the space of about 1-1/2 hours, as well as R to take around for his own trick or treating.
Have I intorduced you to "the dog" yet? I don't think so. He's a great big hulking thing - a cross between a german shepherd and a great dane. He looks like a shepherd, but has the dane deep chest and huge clunky feet. And he doesn't slope down in the back the way a shepherd does. Add to that doberman/rotti coloring on his face. You know, the black face with brown spots above the eyes? Overall he has a laid-back dane personality. A real pillow dog - until the doorbell rings, that is. Then he's a full blooded shepherd, guarding his flock from intruders.
So, that said, you can possibly see my dilema. Do I take R out trick or treating, and not give out candy myself and have the dog a nervous wreck by the time I get home, or do I make R stay home with me? The big question!
Well, I decided on neither. I decided to take a novel approach and bribe my son to forgo his trick or treating delight for this year. Instead, I offered him a trip to our local Walmart and $20 in hand to spend at his leasure. Whamo - a hit.
So, on Monday night I loaded the dog, R and myself into our minivan, drove off to the bank for funds, then to our local dog park so that the dog could have a nice run and get all his pent up energy out. We all donned our halloween finest - orange shirts all around - yes even the dog has an orange t-shirt. A couple of years ago Old Navy used to sell doggie t-shirts. They've discontinued them sadly, but they were the only canine garment I could find that would fit. So the dog has his orange "canine university" t-shirt and his green "12 dogs of Christmas" t-shirt. But I digress. Anyway, we took the dog for a run, then headed off to Walmart for an evening of fun browsing and shopping.
It ended up being a hit. R had a great time picking out some toys, we grabbed a bite afterwards and all in all it was a fun time spent with my son. And, I've heard from a couple of other mom's with sons around the same age, that the idea was a hit with them too. Maybe I've started a trend??!??