Friday, October 31, 2008


Today is Halloween and of course we waited until the last moment to get our costumes finalized. The kids had it together early on, in fact weeks ago, but that's the way it is with kids, they want it now and can't wait, and then forget all about it. Anyway, just another thing to deal with in our world of too many things to deal with. We had originally planned on going as a bat family, and the kids were swayed into the bat realm by this because originally Audrey wanted to be a ninja (credit Avatar for that) and Nicholas a tiger/leopard. These are all fine costumes, but we weren't sure how to approach the whole ninja thing.

I'm all for clever and unique costumes. Heck, I encourage it because it shows thought and creativity, but kids need some degree of conformity, it just seems to go with the territory, and when you're too much of an individual, it can work against you. My point is, it's good to have a costume that people can recognize, or at least think is cute. When you get too sophisticated, people just don't get it, especially other kids.

This happened to us two years ago when Audrey was Amelia Earhart, a killer girl's costume, I thought. But nobody got it, even when we explained it, and I think it kind of bummed Audrey out having to explain herself all evening, especially when Nicholas garnered so much attention because he was a cute little Native American. You just want to be recognizable.

It's also going to be complicated by the presence of other families. We usually ride solo as a family, and that's the way we like it, but we are meeting the Bolands and the Marshalls and Walker-Moneys, and there's a chance Audrey might get left behind, and Nicholas will, most definitely. Part of growing up, I know, and Audrey really wants to trick or treat with her friends, but some of those kids aren't her friends, and I don't jive on hanging with the Waldorf crowd. I like all the families, but something about when they get together and talk the Waldorf talk, it makes me feel like an outsider, if not a persona non grata. It's weird, because some of these folks seem like the unlikeliest of matches, they have only one thing in common, and they embrace it like the gospel.

Either way, I'm approaching the evening with mixed feelings. It might be the end of a tradition for Halloween because let's face it, the kids are growing up, and there will soon be a time when they don't want us around. We shall see.

The costume issue was on my mind last night. As mentioned, we had planned on going as a bat family, but by last night, we hadn't done anything for the parents, and it would have been easy enough to just blow it off and say NO BIG DEAL.

But it is a big deal, and I wanted to follow through rather than just be a big flake. I confess, I hadn't done anything to further that end, but talking to Ruth last night, I think she could sense my disappointment, so she stayed up late and finished our costumes. I felt guilty, but at least things are falling into place.

AND, if you can believe this, I actually fit into my black jeans. Not perfectly, I admit, but I got them on while still standing, and I didn't look like a 70's disco dork. These jeans are almost ten years old, mind you.

So we have our homemade costumes. I think living in Vermont, it's more prevalent. If we lived in a big city where TV is the norm, I'm sure the homemade deal is not as common, but the store bought stuff, besides being shamelessly commercial, just falls short for me. It looks a little silly, and so contrived. Believe it or not, I've always felt this way, even when I was a kid and my friends got the state of the art Star Wars costume-just for the record, Star Wars first came out when I was a kid.

And, when you get down to it, most if not all store bought costumes have such a Made In China (MIC) look and feel. You do your kids a disservice by not taking the time to put your hands into their costumes, not unlike their food. Just turn off the TV and spend some time with your kids. Besides, it's a great way to connect.

Okay, enough of my preaching. I'm looking forward to this evening with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. There's no telling how it will go.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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