As I said yesterday, Halloween was a pleasant surprise this year. And not just the evening — the whole day was wonderful.

My mum was visiting for the weekend, and we’ve been having some really nice visits lately. The kids seem to have really connected with her, and they both were happy to spend some time with “Gran”. We weren’t sure what we were going to do Sunday morning but we knew we wanted to do something outside, so when JenV called and suggested we go to Goldstream with her, we said yes.

The weather was gorgeous — sunny, crisp and cool with just enough of a breeze to send tons of golden leaves gently to the ground. A few times it looked like it was snowing leaves. The salmon were still running, and I’m embarrassed to admit that in my 20 years of living in Victoria, I’ve never been to Goldstream when the salmon were running. So that was a treat as well. The kids were able to see quite a few of them making their way upstream.

We had an impromptu lunch of hot dogs and hot chocolate, bought from some firefighters raising money for Muscular Dystrophy, and then headed home for some naps and quiet time (the girls all napped, the boys all had quiet time). When we got home our neighbour’s 12-year-old daughter, was having a Halloween party. And here’s where we get to the surprise part. Elliot has never been interested in trick-or-treating. I’m not exactly sure why, but my guess is that there’s too much attention placed on him. People will notice him more in a costume and he’ll have to actually talk to people he doesn’t know. But really, it could be something entirely different. Because I’ve never asked. If my child doesn’t want to get dressed up and go out and get a big bag of processed sugar, I’m not going to try to convince him.

So when we got home, Elliot went over to talk to the neighbours for a bit, and when Zoe asked him if he wanted to go out trick-or-treating with her, I was shocked to hear Elliot say yes with no hesitation. I thought he might back out, but he was gung ho, and even let me paint his face with a nose and whiskers to enhance his last minute lion costume. Amy wasn’t interested initially, but 30 minutes before they were due to go out, she changed her mind. So we threw some fairy wings on her and the whole Fox family went out with Zoe and her dad.

And it was so much FUN. The night was beautiful, the kids seemed to really enjoy it, lots of people were out, and our street has some great decorations. Plus it was a nice way to talk to some of our neighbours. And we conveniently had Mum at home to hand out our candy for us.

The kids went to about a dozen houses before they started to get tired…this was three times the amount Elliot said he would do (“I’m only going to four houses because I’m four”). The lure of candy was too much for him.

The only disappointing part of the day was the community bonfire. We went down after we got back from trick-or-treating and it didn’t feel very community-like. Lots of really scary costumes, too dark (that sounds odd, I know), and several very stern police officers patrolling around. We didn’t stay long.

But it didn’t really matter because we’d had such a great day.