It's that time of year again. We spent most of the month of October gearing up for Halloween.
As a grown up, I've been ambivalent about this holiday for some time. The idea of coming up with a costume sort of stresses me out, I guess. I usually can't be bothered to make one on my own behalf.
Add kids to the mix, though, and it's a whole new game. Dressing up is pure fun for them -- no pressure to be "correct" or "clever." My goal this year was to say Yes! To see if I could reclaim a little bit of that Halloween magic by diving in with a gusto! I wondered whether that would take us anywhere new.
Over the past several weeks, Oscar has been streaming Sesame Street on Netflix. Big Bird! Grover! Elmo! Oscar the Grouch! All completely new to him. He immediately fell into deep love with one particular character: Abby Cadabby. Abby's a fairy.
So when I asked Oscar what he wanted to be for Halloween this year, he didn't hesitate. Well, sometimes he said he wanted to be a "fairy" and sometimes he said "Abby Cadabby," but in any case my work was clear. I couldn't just buy him a pre-packaged fairy costume. For one thing, there were none. Apparently little boys never want to be fairies; drag is the only option. I hate that it comes down to this, because I'm sure Oscar isn't the only little boy who loves Lightning McQueen and Abby Cadabby.
Why must it be cars or fairies?
I wondered how Oscar would feel trick-or-treating in a sparkly dress. I wondered if he would meet with any social push-back. I questioned his comfort level. I questioned my own. I also wondered if the dress was really the point for Oscar. I suspected that what he really hungered for was that feeling of abandon that comes when you really commit to a costume. I mean, Oscar also talked about dressing up as "cheese" for Halloween. And Super-Pocoyo. And a knight. Dress up is fun!
I asked a lot of questions. At one point, Oscar explained very matter-of-factly:
"Mama, I'm a boy but it's okay if I wear a girl's costume, you know?"
Well, that slayed me. I was bound and determined to make him something he liked. We talked and we dug through my fabric remnants and we looked at pictures on the internet. We discovered that bottom-line, for Oscar, an Abby costume had to have:
1. A wand.
3. Pink skin.
I introduced the concept of a tunic, which is something I had enough fabric for that would be simple to sew. Then I showed him examples of woodland fairies and found out he liked the idea of leaves on a tunic. He also wanted hearts and a star. He asked if Rafa could also be a fairy. They could be fairy friends. This was ideal, since Rafa was likely to want to wear whatever Oscar wore, anyway.
I made two wands that were Abby-inspired. They chose their wings, which ended up being rainbow-colored, another departure from the actual Abby Cadabby. That left the pink skin. Hello face paint!
Rafa declined to have his face painted. Oscar wanted his hands painted, too.
The costumes were soft, comfortable, very warm, and cost-effective. I only spent money on the wings!
Best of all, I had happy kids. Which is exactly what it's all about, right?