Today we stripped our house of all of our Halloween decorations. It feels a bit like the end of Christmas to me, doing this. I always have such a hard time saying goodbye to Halloween. At our house, we've turned it into a month-long celebration that starts with raiding the storage boxes to dislodge skeletons and witches and ghostly garlands, continues with a parade of spooky drawings and lots of talk of creepy things (and even creepier talks about death and decay and mummification), and ends with another parade: of costumes, as Jules and Kasper (and their mama) decide what to be for each party, carnival or trot down the block we've signed them up for.
It fills me with glee to say that Jules shares my enthusiasm for Halloween, though keeping up with his racing imagination was a little exhausting for me this year. A lot of my energy these past few weeks was consumed in trying to gently steer him into not being a pirate, or a knight, or some other manlier-than-manly-man that I thought my little four-going-on-five year old had no business wanting to be. Why couldn't he pick a cute little animal? A bumbling clown? Even a creepy skeleton or a dragon or dracula would have been better than the sword-wielding characters Jules kept throwing at me.
In desperation, I took him to a local costume store, just in time for the crush of Halloween crowds, with the only rule being that he could NOT choose a costume that accessorized itself with a weapon. I'm pretty sure he hated my guts that day. But he ended up choosing a glittery crown (which resembled, no doubt, pirate treasure) and cheesy "velvety" robe and dubbed himself a king. He loved that costume for all of half an hour. We tried to convince him that it was good to be the king, that kings were the bosses of knights, the looters of pirates. He wouldn't buy it. He wanted that sword. He even tried cutting a picture of a dagger out of one of his pirate coloring books and taping it to a pencil. Confiscated. We have a "no weapons" policy in our house, mostly to protect the eyes of Jules's little brother, but one that has eroded enough to allow floppy cardboard cutout swords from time to time.
A few days before Halloween, we lost the royal battle (but not the weapons war, which still rages). Jules announced he would not be a king and instead scrambled upstairs to hi-jack MY Halloween costume. "I'm going to be a pot-bellied gnome," he decreed. Brilliant, I thought. And so worth giving it up to my pint-sized pal. I'm good at sharing. Sadly, this gnome was anything but jolly. But he warms my heart just the same.
Kasper, in the meantime, spent a total of twenty seconds in his costume, a hand-me-down from his brother that I'd bought in what can only be described as a Halloween-induced moment of shopping insanity. A ridiculous full-body gorilla costume. There's a gorilla-head hat that goes on top, but he ripped it off in a fit of rage before I could snap the photo.
To our great astonishment, Kasper decided that it WAS good to be the king, if only for the fact that he got to carry around a big whackable stick, er... royal scepter. Too bad Jules hadn't thought of that, eh??
And, quite naturally, I suppose, just minutes before we needed to leave the house on the spooktastic day itself, Jules and Kasper teamed up to perform one last last minute costume switch: presto change-o: superheroes x 2.
I am slowly, ever so slowly, giving up my attachment to being the kind of mom who spends a month hand-crafting her childrens' costumes, the one garnering the "oooohs" and "aaaaaahs" of all her friends. I love her, that mom, but she most certainly does not have my kids. And my kids? Well, I love them most of all. Which is why next year, I'm thinking of being a bowling ball for Halloween. Maybe then I'll really be able to roll with it.
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