Kim in Baltimore admiring the big moon.
Halloween is only a few weeks away and I’m not ready. The decorations are still packed, the candy has yet to be bought and the pumpkins I planted didn’t even get a chance to ripen before becoming a delicious snack for the squirrels. At least I have no costumes to worry with this year. My children are grown and are quite capable of putting together their own disguises.
When I was a child, my mom made every costume I ever wore. Now that I think about it, she made quite a few for me when I was an adult, too. Mom has always been an excellent seamstress. She made a lot of her own formal wear as well as many of my outfits and my Barbie clothes. Halloween costumes were her specialty.
Every year I could count on a beautiful gown to be either a princess, or a bride. One year she actually used a pair of lavender Priscilla curtains to make a gown and hat for me to be a Southern Belle. I won first place at the recreation center’s Halloween party that year.
The year Dad became involved in the costume making, he decided I would be a devil. My mom sewed the suit and Dad made my horns, tail and pitchfork. I was not amused. He made another attempt a few years later, but fortunately it was the year of my curtain dress. My sister was not so lucky. He dressed her as a turtle.
I had high expectations of myself when it came to making my own children’s costumes. The problem was I didn’t know how to sew. I solved that by investing in a glue gun and one of those super-duper staplers. My kids could only wear the costume once because it had to be pulled apart to get them out of it. By the time they were old enough for school they were begging me for store bought costumes. I must admit, I was a bit broken-hearted and felt like a failure. They were so excited, though, to pick out the costumes that I soon realized what the costumes meant.
It wasn’t really what I wore that I remembered so vividly, it was the time I had spent with my mom, times where I had her undivided attention. I can still picture how she looked as I stood on the ottoman in our living room as she hemmed my dress, or the nights I sat with her while she sewed and listened to Connie Francis records. I couldn’t sew a beautiful costume, but I could give my children my undivided attention.
Every year it was a special event to buy just the right costume. We always ended up with an extra mask…just in case, and ended our shopping trip with lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. On the way home, my kids liked to wear their masks to see the reactions they would get from the people we passed.
This year I’ll admire all the costumes of the children who come to my door, store bought or homemade, each one has a special story.
Readers: What are your favorite Halloween memories? Which costume was your favorite or which was the most embarrassing?