Technically, this was Claire’s second Halloween, but it was sort of her first “real” one. Last year she was not really aware what was happening, but this year she is starting to grasp it.

Claire’s first clue was the Emory Halloween party for kids last Friday evening. This was her first chance to show off her giraffe costume, and she got to meet and greet with her friends Reese, who was dressed up as Buzz Lightyear, plus Baby Davis and Chrissie’s Baby Luke.

Next it was “Boo at the Zoo” on Saturday. The zoo was decorated up for Halloween and jam packed with kids in costumes. Most of the kids were running around happy, but there were a few grumpy princesses and pirates with skinned knees. Claire was awestruck from all the excitement. The highlight for Claire, and many other kids, was meeting Curious George in person. We managed to work our way in to Georgie, who was surrounded by a gaggle of excited kids. One kid gave a really long, heartfelt, almost tearful hug to George. Claire stood in front of him and just gave him a big smile, saying, “Bye Georgie!” as we eventually dragged her off.

Finally, on Halloween night, we did some real trick-or-treating. Here is another advantage of having a kid. No, not all the candy which we confiscated from Claire. Halloween gave us a reason, or excuse, to go knock on our neighbor’s doors and say hi. It would be weird to do that any other night of the year. And it would be weird to do that on Halloween without a kid by your side.

The first stop was Melissa, who is a big fan of Claire’s and had asked us to bring Claire by. We had the usual nice chat with Melissa and then moved on Lynn two houses down from us. She was happy and surprised to see Claire, as were our next door neighbors, Ella and Fay. The last stop was across the street to Dustin’s house, where we also met his girlfriend Caroline, and then we headed home to put the two foot tall giraffe to bed a little late, exhausted but happy.

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