At first I was not a huge fan of Elena’s costume, but after I saw her wearing it, she and Jenny won me over. I thought it was too big–it is big enough that it might still fit her next year–but even that turned out to be a good thing.
Since Halloween fell on a Sunday, we decided not to go trick or treating that night. However, we did have four events where costumed Elena made an appearance: Music Makers, two trunk or treats, and a parade. On Wednesday at Music Makers, most of the songs were Halloween-themed. Jenny told me that today the words to the songs have now changed to focus on Thanksgiving, but the tunes seem to be mostly the same.
At the trunk or treat Wendesday evening, I agreed to help direct traffic. The reason they asked me: as a bike rider, they assumed I would have a reflective vest. After my assignment was over, the vest served double duty as my costume for the evening.
We had spent several weeks teaching Elena to say “trick or treat.” She wasn’t always cooperative–she didn’t yet know what it was for–but when the time came, she could say her version, rih-ree, pretty well. When she realized that merely by saying that, people would put candy in her bucket, she suddenly had a greater incentive to perform. We also made sure that she said thank you at every trunk. In sign language, thank you is pretty close to blowing kisses, so that’s what lots of people thought she was doing.
On Saturday, we heard about a community parade. We weren’t entirely sure about the timeline so we ended up waiting around for a little while, but it was all worth it when the parade came through. Elena loved waving at the fire truck, police cars, girl scouts, and the marching band. After the band passed by us, all the kids in costume joined in and followed them along the route. Elena took it all in stride–she kept on waving at everybody, but had changed from spectator to participant.
After long afternoon naps, we headed up to the Fall Festival activity for my parents’ church ward. It was a multi-faceted event, with carnival games, a pot luck barbeque dinner, a talent show/karaoke segment, and a trunk or treat at the end. Elena especially enjoyed the hay ride. The sun was setting by dinner time, and none of us could figure out why we were eating outside; it seemed too cold for comfort. This was where Elena’s big costume came in handy–there was enough room for us to put her jacket on underneath for extra warmth. During the talent show, one act stood out. Someone who had dressed up as a witch gave a solid rendition of a song from Wicked. Elena was standing right in front of the stage, transfixed by the performance. She’s going to be a musical lover like Jenny.
At the trunk or treat we got even more candy; this time Elena knew just what to say. She wanted them to put the candy in her hand, and then she would very carefully place it in her bag before saying thanks. It seems that Elena has a healthier relationship with candy than I do. She likes to eat it, but doesn’t demand it, and can stop after one piece. Good for her.