So it’s Halloween. A day for lttle kids (and sometimes full grown adults!) to test their inner “ying & yang”. All of the sweet little angels want to be devils, and the crazy little terrors want to be Cinderella. It is a day that evokes so very many memories for me, somehow. As a kid, myself, we had a big family and there were no “costumes” like some of the elaborate productions that you see today. Basically, your choices were vast, and limited only by your imagination. That is “code” for “find some stuff in the house and put it on; we’re leaving in five minutes”. Well, let me just say that this was a system that worked just fine for me. My mom’s suggestion for me…? A gypsy. A what??? OK – Once I discovered that this costume involved lots of baby blue eye shadow and lipstick, my mom’s chiffon scarf tied around my head and lots and lots of her jewelry – especially that coveted gold coin bracelet/necklace… well, I was hooked. So a gypsy it was… every single year. Such a smart Mama…!
Fast forward about a hundred years – and our kids are now the “trick-or-treaters”. Oh my gosh, they loved figuring out their Halloween costumes, but the rules were (kinda sorta) the same. We basically tried to create a costume out of things that we already had – we just gave it a month or so; rather than the traditional “five minute warning”. There were lots of alterations… but the creative process was the fun of it!! When they were just a couple of months old, they were tiny twin pumpkins – so cute; but store bought! The next year, however, I was feeling really adventuresome. I went to a fabric store and bought patterns and material to make their costumes from scratch. Yep. From scratch. A bumblebee and a dalmation. OK – let me explain something here. I feel that sewing is kind of like math. You either “get it/like it”… or you don’t. Let’s just say that a sense of reality washed over me about “mid-project”. I get math. I don’t sew. Too late. So I finished it, and was feeling really proud of myself for pushing through. I dressed the kids in their costumes and brought them out, beaming with pride, to show their daddy. “Awww… How cute… Daddy’s got a little bumblebee and a baby cow”. Did he say – a COW??? Oh my gosh, it was, so obviously, a DALMATION… “Just look at the ears”, I screamed! “Those are dalmation ears!!!” Suffice it to say, that this was the “one and only” year that I made a costume from scratch. Any sewing from that point on was a straight seam or a needle and thread. Period.
The years rolled on; so many memories. An angel & a devil; a cowboy & an Indian Princess (still giggling about that pic… as you can see!), Santa & a bride; Batman & the Snow Princess… Wow. I remember the year of the pouring rain where we literally ran, carrying them, from house to house covered in rain ponchos; or the year that my daughter was sick and had to spend Halloween on the couch – so her brother took her treat bag and gathered candy for her at each and every house.
When my son got a little older, we would have to bring Uncle Patrick over to carve a legit “scary” pumpkin, because Mom wasn’t very good at that. My scary pumpkins were still kinda “happy/scary” – Like a creepy clown.
So fast forward another hundred years. I’m gonna have to say that Halloween just isn’t the same when you’re kids are in college. As much as I love the amazing adults they are today, and I really do, there is still that inner mommy voice that silently wishes to go back in time just for a moment… to re-live the memory, to capture that feeling… But I can’t. So I make Halloween coffee/tea and drink it out of my Halloween mug (from when they were little) one more day. The neighbor kids will be out in full force tonight and I love seeing all of them!! Time permitting, our little nephew will stop by for a quick pic and a dip into our Halloween bucket. I will, however, have to keep his mom away from my display of Halloween photos from years past. She was over the other day, and was gazing admiringly, at all of the pics. She is one of those people who DOES sew, so the fact that she was fixated on the pic of my “bumblebee and dalmation” was particularly impressive. She obviously recognized the quality and workmanship that went into those costumes. “Awww… How cute!” she exclaimed. “A bumblebee and a cow!”. Right. I give. “Mooo….”, said the dalmation.