Halloween is different for us now that we have three grown kids and two teenagers. Our kids, with pressure from us, stopped trick-or-treating around age 13. But Halloween is really for moms anyway, at least when the kids are really young. There are a few years where it’s all about the kids – from about age 7 – 13 – where they can pick their own costumes without too much influence from mom (and eat their own candy), but before then, it’s as much a dress up and photo op for mom.

Take my daughter, Kira. Last year, her daughter Hallie was only six months old. She couldn’t even walk yet. But not only was Hallie the most adorable flower in town, but because she had no teeth, somebody had to help eat the candy. Moms are awesome that way.

When Parker and Anika were little, it was all about me having fun with my life-size dolls. There was the year of the cowardly lion.

There was the year Parker was Peter Pan and Anika was Tinker Bell.

And there was the year when Parker was the purple dragon and Anika was the perfect princess.

As you can see by the photos, I was obviously having a lot more fun with the costumes than they were. Once they could choose their own costumes, it was still fun, but far less about me getting my cute pictures.

Except for the year they were obsessed with Harry Potter.

This year, Hallie can walk, understands the value of chocolate (even though her mother will still help her eat it), and will have a blast trick-or-treating with her cousins.

I think it is awesome that she is a power ranger – and so does she.

Dave, Parker, Anika and I will put out a bowl of candy, lock the doors, and move on to our new tradition: watching a horror movie (meeting my one-per-year quota). But don’t worry – we bought extra candy. For them and for mom.

Happy Halloween!