Author: Luisa Perkins
•10:05 AM
I was clicking around the 5MfM Ultimate Blog Party yesterday when the big kids got home. Hope came into my office and asked what I was doing. When I told her, she asked, "Oooh, is it like a slumber party?" (How proud I was that she did not ask, "Oooh, is it, like, a slumber party?") Hope just turned eight, and for her, when it comes to parties, 'ultimate' always equals 'slumber.' Here she is with Tess at one of our at-home, family-only Slumber Parties. (It's all in the marketing, folks. And the curlers.)

My favorite party memory from childhood goes like this. It's Halloween, 1970, just four days shy of my fourth birthday. My mother is in the hospital with tiny new baby sister Angie, born just the day before. It's evening, and my dad comes to get my sister Stephanie (who has just turned two) and me from my mom's best friend's house. We go home and get into our pajamas. I remember that I had on a white flannel nightgown with pink rosebuds.

While Daddy is getting Steph dressed, the doorbell rings. For some reason, I answer it, and it's a bunch of trick-or-treaters, all at least three years older than I am; they are very tall. I call to my dad; he informs me we don't have any candy, but tells me to offer them each a doughnut.

I go get the box off the kitchen counter, open it, and hold it out to the kids, and they give me a look I've learned to recognize in the years since. It perfectly combines incomprehension and contempt in an open-mouthed sneer. Without a word, the trick-or-treaters turn as one and walk down the porch steps. I look down at the doughnuts and wonder why the kids didn't want them. They look fine to me.

I'm glad they don't take them, though, because then Daddy comes out carrying Steph, and the three of us go to the drive-in, watch 101 Dalmatians, and eat the doughnuts ourselves.

The black and white photo above is of Steph and me around that time. I wish it were in color so that you could fully appreciate the awesomeness that was my pink and green paisley coat. That coat was a party all by itself.
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