Because I am a busy mom and one that has been tacking Halloween costume fiascos for a few years, I find that the older I get the lazier I am. I just don’t have the passion to put into the holiday anymore. I used to cook an entire meal that looked like body parts and creepy things. Now I feel like the only thing I have to look forward to is when the candy goes on sale in early November.
When my children were little, we didn’t have Pinterest and multitudes of mommy blogs to document all of the creative costumes we didn’t really have time for. We made them up. Or as a young couple with more children than income, there were years that we bought clearance costumes and crossed our fingers that our kids would fit into them next year. But truly I have spent every October riddled with guilt from the homemade costumes my mother made for me.
Because I was a rather annoying child, I couldn’t stand to make things easy for my parents. When I was 8, I insisted on being Robin Hood, which meant my mother had to figure out how to sew one of those little pointy hats and my dad used parts from his workshop to create a kid-friendly quiver and bow so I wouldn’t shoot anyone for real.
And then there was the time I thought I’d be really funny and asked to be a human foot for Halloween, with my head as the big toenail. My parents were awesome enough to bring home sheets of carpet foam and we sketched and trimmed a giant foam foot. (This still remains my greatest costume to date.)
So it goes that I honestly feel that as much as I would like to drive my kids to the store for a random quickie costume, deep down I know that their years of being able to dress up and be someone else and going door to door for candy that their mother will sneak are limited, and I at least owe them something.
Simply put, if your kid wants to be Carmen Miranda and you’re a person who encourages originality, you drive to the store and spend a ton of money on plastic fruit and stay up all night figuring out how to hot glue it onto a papier-mâchéd hat that should have earned you a failing grade in elementary art class. And if your son wants to dress as some bizarre character from a movie, you will drive to all of the resale shops around to find just the right pair of whatever he needs to pull it off.
You do these things because childhood is a blink, creativity is splendid, candy is delicious, and a well-made costume will last as long as the memories it creates.
I have a pointy hat to prove it.
Originally written 10.25.15