When I was a little kid, my mother dressed me as a flower for Halloween. I was only about five, but I still remember it more vividly than any other costume I’ve ever had. She took a green leotard and sewed red felt petals all around the collar. I wore green tights and dainty little ballet slippers, and the other mothers “ooohed and aaahed,” when she proudly showed off, “Her little flower.”
I hated that costume.
I was not a flower. She tried valiantly to make me one, buying me pretty dresses and making the floufy little things with her own two hands. She even wrestled me into wearing a few of them, but they never stayed pretty for long. I had two older brothers and I wanted to play ball, jump off the roof into the pool, and play with their star wars toys – and not just the Princess Lea ones, either. I was not a flower.
The slippers had no traction and the only good thing about them was that I could get them off quick as lightning and pummel my brothers with them for laughing at me... and they didn’t leave marks – ha. I can remember that Halloween because I had to stand and be admired while desperately itching to get down the block to the house that gave out the full size Snickers bars before all the good loot was gone.
When my daughter was in Kindergarten, I made her costume, too. She was the Lollipop Princess from Candyland. I made her a yellow jumper and painted lollipops all around the trim, and added the three lollipop buttons to the top. I made her a crown from Styrofoam wreaths wrapped in yellow ribbon and hot glued real lollipops on top.
My daughter has very thick wavy hair, so it took about an hour to pin it all up and I sprayed it all pink... she looked adorable for school... Oddly enough, she didn’t want to wear that costume the next night for the costume party at the Parish. She insisted on being a cowboy. At the time I was sure she didn’t want to spend all that time on the hair... it wasn’t until this year that I caught the connection...
A few weeks ago, we were looking online to get ideas for her costume. She didn’t like anything. She’s eleven and at her age the costumes are, sad to say, either trampy or stupid. Zooming along, I caught sight of a “southern belle” costume, designed like Scarlett’s dress from the barbeque... the white with green trim thing... and I clicked on it, opening up the picture to full screen and “oooohing and aaaahing”... to which my daughter replied:
“I am SO NOT a southern belle!”
She rolled her eyes and walked away and by the next day she decided she wanted to be a hobo... okay, I’m a little hard-headed and I still wasn’t getting it. I mean, fine, I get the not wanting to be girly... yeah, I’m there with ya...
So yesterday, I get a sheet from the school about all of the things that are unacceptable for Halloween. And I’m still a little worried about the hobo thing because I’m not sure how it’ll look and wouldn’t she rather have store bought than thrown together? And yes, I’m a hard-head...
Me: You know, the school has all of these rules about what’s acceptable for your costume. Are you sure we can’t just go buy you one?
Daughter: What kind of rules?
Me: You know, nothing with weapons or drugs or alcohol...
Daughter: I’m not going as a drunk. What, do they have something against poor people?
So you see my dilemma here? My eleven year old is obviously smarter than I am... I swear, she clears my perspective and teaches me something new all the time... I’m helping her find a flannel this afternoon... I wonder which jeans to fill up with patches.