Before I begin, I should tell you that I don’t throw parties or create fall bucket lists or attempt to bring magical moments to our home to be a good mom because I don’t think being a good mom requires any of those things. I don’t even do it to make my kids happy–although that’s a nice little bonus that comes with it. These parties and bucket lists and hours spent icing cookies or hanging floating candles that required 500 pieces of tape and fishing line I never can seem to find (ended up unraveling Brett’s fishing pole)–I do them because they make me happy. Because I’m a party person, and glitter and candles and themed food delights me. Also, I’m a 12-year-old trapped in a 39-year-old’s body, and if I don’t keep feeding the soul of the child, she will likely eat me alive. That said, these parties I share transfer to “You’re a great mom!” only if you mean that I celebrate things I’m passionate about and find ways to bring those passions to life for my kids in the same way that moms who love cooking spend hours in their kitchens, or women who paint give their children memories of a mother who spends weekends crouched over a canvas, adding brush stroke by brush stroke to paint a sun. This is less about impressing my kids and more about inviting them to love something I love and to bring it to life for us all to enjoy. If I had dogs instead of kids, hell yeah I’d be strapping little witch hats on their furry little heads and lining up jars of dog bones for their party treats. Because it’s October, and Halloween is fun.
You know what else makes me happy? Seeing this kind of wonder on my kid’s face.
We started our Harry Potter Movie Night tradition last year and couldn’t wait for October to bring it back this year. The rules are simple–all lights off, candles galore, a fire in the fireplace, a sweet treat Honeydukes bar and a family viewing of Harry Potter.
The Honeydukes candy bar is, by far, the hit of the night. I start collecting fun candies (World Market has so many!) a month before the party line them up in jars and platters on the counter to create our shop.
To keep the kids from gorging on all the candy they wanted, I priced it all and gave them each the same amount of coins to shop with.
They ended up loving this part–cutest thing ever watching the little ones add their choices up, count out their money, swap things out and continually ask how much more they had left to spend. Kind of like spending prize tickets at Chuck E. Cheese. You know, six hours of contemplation.
Poppa ran the candy shop which means it is highly likely he bent the rules and gave them more than what they had money for.
Butter beer intermission.
Last year, Lainey’s best bud Maggie was part of our celebration. She moved to Chicago this past summer, so she joined us on FaceTime. I had no idea the girls had arranged it, and it was such a delight to look at the counter while the kids were shopping for their candy and see the phone propped up with her sweet face–complete with Harry Potter scar and witch costume–smiling and playing along.
Lainey and Ivy competed in their own scary photo challenge…
…and scooted all the candles (flameless–so much easier with kids!) in a huddle for their Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean taste-off for which Dash is surprisingly all in. I won’t even lick a jelly bean for fear I’m going to get dirty socks or spoiled milk flavor. This kid pops them in his mouth, chews and with no facial expression whatsoever, calmly announces “Dead Fish” before spitting the remains into a bowl and taking a swig of water.
For more details on the party, check out last year’s Potter Night. More Halloween fun to come this week, and we are ready! (well, not really but–you know–scrambling around the house scraping costumes together ten minutes before the next event starts.)