Sunday, October 01, 2006

Halloween Frights

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the dressing-up part. I like the idea of costumes and pretending to be someone you’re not. (No snide comments, please, on the witch-hat I wear when taking the boys trick-or-treating.)

For a party several years ago, I was an Asian Long-Horned beetle and my husband was a frighteningly convincing Spock. But it’s most interesting to me to see what my children will choose to be for Halloween. The last time I had any say in the matter, they were two. I dressed them as Thing One and Thing Two, and darn it if they weren’t cute.

As they get older, I watch them striving for the creepiest, scariest, most disgusting costume they can imagine. I try not to mind. I try to look at it like they’re trying to be the opposite of their wonderful little selves. But I miss the Dalmatian costumes, the Thomas the Tank Engines, and the bears and wolves.

Several years ago, my son Kyle wanted to be a wolf for Halloween. A fact previously unknown to me, is that wolf costumes for seven year-olds are impossible to find. The only wolf costumes we saw were for babies. After an internet search, we finally did find the perfect plush grey wolf costume on E-Bay—in a size 2T.

Now, I don’t know how to sew. I’m not Craft Mom. But when Kyle’s face screwed-up into tears because he couldn’t get that wolf costume, I promised him we’d find him the perfect wolf costume—somewhere. I promised him if we didn’t, that I would sew him the most god-awful wolf costume he’d ever seen.

Apparently he came up with the same visual picture I had: tail hanging from sleeve, paw where ear should be—but his tears instantly dissolved into laughter.

Sew, there I was. I did own a sewing machine. A dusty one. I went to Joanne Fabrics. In keeping with the Halloween theme, I found it a scary place for a Non-Craft Mom. But I was thrilled to find a pattern for a wolf costume, and some grey plush fabric on sale. I began Project Wolf, as we now like to call it. It took me a while to sew that costume, and thankfully, grey plush fabric is amazingly forgiving of errors. I managed to make Kyle the cutest darn wolf costume you’ve ever seen. (If I may say so myself.) The only logical explanation I have for this, is that I must have been paying closer attention to Mrs. Pella during eighth grade Home Economics than I realized at the time. Either that, or I channeled my grandmother.

I even finished without a single swear word.

However, after spending an entire week working on Kyle’s wolf costume, I had another problem: a boy whose costume I hadn’t toiled over. “So what do you think, Ethan, do you want me to sew you a bear costume?” It’s weird the sentences you hear coming out of your mouth when you’re a mom. It’s like all of a sudden, you just picked a new foreign language and started speaking it.

When Halloween came, they didn’t want to wear their bear or wolf headpieces to school. “But, but they’re so cute! And they go with the costume! I worked so…Well, okay. Wear whatever you want. Today, it’s all about you.”

They still looked adorable and I was still proud of my work. Until I dropped them off at school, and had the most terrifying thought of all.

“Wait! Whatever you do, don’t tell your teachers—especially not your drama teacher—that your mother knows how to sew.”

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