For the past 6 months, I've noticed that my kids are in a sweet spot. They still think I'm awesome, but they play really well by themselves, are (mostly) past the tantrum stage, and are in general, really a lot of fun to be around.
This past week was the beginning of what I consider our party month. (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and both kids birthdays all within the same 36 days.) I have always hosted a group of people from daycare at our house for Halloween. It has been about 20 kids and their parents every year. Which I know sounds insane, but it just works out. All the kids have a blast. The parents will concentrate on their own kids (we certainly don't try to keep all the kids together for trick or treating) and whenever someone is done? They just walk back to our house and play with the kids toys, trade candy, and (hopefully) eat some of the healthy potluck food that I have people bring. I just accept that every toy in the house will be out, and I'll need to clean the downstairs the next day. It's a night where pretty much anything goes and we've always had a blast.
Friday night, we had neighborhood family over for movie night - and it was another great evening. The kids all played nicely together, the grown-ups got to sit and eat adult dinner and then even play some cards! Saturday, Cam had soccer while Maggie and I went to American Girl for a birthday party (and yes, we have totally gone down that rabbit hole, my friends). I got back, and asked the kids if they would be happy to hang out with Grandma while I went to swimming - "Sure, Mama!". Later in the afternoon, my cousin visited for dinner - someone they had never met, and they had a blast!
Sunday morning, I had planned to do a swim meet. My mom was still visiting, and I thought she could come after warm ups with the kids. But they wanted to go RIGHT NOW! Which I thought was a bit insane (I needed to swim for warm ups for about 45 minutes in the pool before the meet). But I said if they really wanted to, that they could come - and explained how it would be (they couldn't go in the water, I would be away for warm ups, they would have toys and food but needed to stay in one place) and they were all in. So, I risked it. And Oh. My. God. They were wonderful. We had a great time! My mom joined us later, but the kids wanted to stay on the deck and cheer for me and the team. They listened, made friends with my teammates, played nicely with each other and even were sad when it was time to go.
This whole weekend had so many places where things could have gone horribly wrong. They stayed up past 9 on both Thursday and Friday nights. We were moving and doing crazy things and meeting new people and being without Mama... no issues. It was wonderful. I went to bed on Sunday thinking how awesome my little family is.