I've helped my oldest son make a Halloween costume on oh-so-many occasions over the years; each successive year it has become more & more of a production. He always has a 'concept'. One year it included contacts that turned his eyes into a lizard's. This time he came to me in June & said 'So…I just wanted to go over what we need for Halloween…'
'What?! Don't you think it's a little soon?'
'Not at all. We have plenty of time. I want to have it ready & in my closet by September First.'
Of course that didn't happen. We always take longer. We always sprint to the finish line.
I'm not sure why this is so important, but I have my suspicions. He lost his father when he was 7, about a month before Halloween. I felt like he and his younger brother, who was 5, should still dress up and go out, although the costumes were store bought. I'd always made them something; that year I just did not have any heart for sewing.
When I was little, I craved dressing up. I got my simple fix every week by going to ballet class; tights & a leotard was enough of a change from the ordinary to satisfy me. As soon as I latched on to a neighborhood best girlfriend two doors down, I got to fully indulge the fantasy. We wore our Mickey Mouse Club ears in front of the television. Put on plays in her backyard, dressed up her little twin sisters & played with them like big dolls. It was pretty neat.
For Halloween, though, at my house we put on the dog big time. Us kids raided our mom's closet for stuff, for ideas; she contributed her fine skills at the needle, turning us into gypsies or bums or angels. We gallivanted all over neighborhood, going into people's living rooms to have our costumes admired & accepting cookies & popcorn balls. Raced up & down the dark streets with giddy excitement & a pillow-case slowing filling up with goodies. Protecting children from phantom menace had not yet occurred to anybody.
Now I gaze back over my life & see that fearlessness, & turn inward. I know every year at this time, my son will lose his dad again & I'll help him with his costume.