We had chili with all the fixings (thanks, Jeanette!) and hot dogs and chips for the kids; everyone brought salads or sides or desserts to share. I hit a clearance sale at Big Lots which means I was able to get Halloween tablecloths and decorations, and party favors (forgotten) and glow sticks (also forgotten and half of which were defective once we remembered them) for the kids. And the KidzBop Halloween CD playing in the background, which was really fun, until it started skipping on the Time Warp and none of us noticed for at least half an hour.
After the eating, and the chatting, and the swatting of the flies (hello? Was it not the last night in October and why are there still FLIES here???) the kids all ganged up and went trick or treating around the neighborhood, parents trudging along in their wake. Blaine and I always split up on Halloween; one of us goes with the kids and one of us stays home to pass out candy. I convinced Blaine that holding down that chair in the driveway and passing out candy was hard, hard work, and sat there all night and BS’d with my neighbor, who passed out candy with me. Whew, I was exhausted.
All in all, a successful night.
Then, right before bed, after the Gluttony of the "Halloween Night, I Don't Care, Eat Candy Until You Puke" Free For All, as it is every year, it was time to put the rest of the Halloween candy back in the buckets and leave it on the front porch so the Book Fairy could come and make her trade. Now, the Book Fairy was very organized this year, making plans ahead of time. No running out at the last minute to get ready. She knows that the boy child in this house loves Magic Tree House books, so she double-checked to see at which number his personal collection stopped, and the next two in line were the ones she
Wouldn’t you know, when the kids put out their bags of candy last night they quickly wrote letters to the Book Fairy telling her exactly which books they wanted in exchange. NONE of which were
Most years, the next morning, the books on the front porch are met with smiles and happiness and an enthusiastic “Yes!”’ from each child. This year? Not so much.
Kellen took one look at his books and said, “I’ve already read these.” I said, “What do you mean you’ve already read them? They’re not in your book shelf. Uhhhhh, I mean …… are they in your book shelf? Maybe the Book Fairy didn’t realize you had already read them. When did you read them, anyhow?” to which he grumpily replied, “We have a library at school, Mom.” in his most patronizing tone. Little brat.
Kendrie was completely under-whelmed by hers as well, and Brayden’s only comment was, “Well, I’m excited to read these, but they are below my AR level at school. That’s why I’ve never bothered to read them before.” Leading me to the harsh conclusion that Book Fairy struck out not once, not twice, but THREE times this year.
I promised the kids I would take them to Books-A-Million to pick out some new books. I don’t want them to feel like they traded in all their Halloween candy for a bum deal. I still believe in the power of reading. I still believe in the power of the Book Fairy --- it’s a fantastic idea, and I want to continue the tradition for as long as my kids trick or treat. Thank you, Lisa B, for sharing it with me so many years ago!
But I can tell you that next year, that damn fairy is giving out Books-A-Million gift cards and calling it a day.