By Lisa

Last night, we came home from Ella’s soccer practice at about 5:15 pm, and I set to preparing dinner.  Ella and I had about 45 minutes before Finn and his dad returned from their soccer practice. Plenty of time for me to get dinner done and Ella to finish her homework and shower and have a little pre-dinner snack.  Since Kory has been coaching Finn’s rec-league team, Mondays are the only weeknight we eat together. So I set the table, lit the spooky house candle, and we were all set up to go when Kory and Finn walked in the door at 6:02 pm.

And then, as dads are known to do, Kory hijacked the orderly schedule. He ducked into the office and pulled out a tall box that had been delivered while Ella and I were at her practice. “The HALLOWEEN COSTUMES!” Ella screamed. Then Finn began screaming. Then they both began jumping up and down. And screaming.

“After dinner,” Kory said.

Before the kids could bellow, “NO. FAIR.” (which they did) I gave him a look  and said, “No way.”  These costumes have been anticipated since August.  Family dinner–and my sanity–depended on immediate access.

So the box was slit open, and in less than three minutes, we had a sort of scary ninja and a super cute witch leaping around the living room. I cannot show you the pictures because that would ruin the fun. And the kids would kill me.  There was much talk of accessories. Knives and ravens and stuff.

The costumes came off for dinner, but the magic prevailed.  The food was nothing special, but it did include a bunch a family favorites; picadillo, warm tortillas, a big pile of padrones, a bowl of really fresh raw carrots, a can of cuban black beans. It was delicious. But what was even better was the family harmony. We talked and talked about halloween, and costume ideas for me and Kory (rejected by the kids:  Phineas and Isabella, anything Star Wars, Leonardo and Mona Lisa, Mr. & Mrs. Dursley, The Weasleys), chatted about Finn’s birthday, and soccer, and a whole lot of other things.  We ate and ate and talked and talked, and just were. And I was grateful for them all. And Halloween.

A really casual dinner