I Amazon Primed my son’s Halloween costume on September 13, a full seven weeks before Halloween. While this may not seem like a huge deal to most people, for my last-minute self it’s absurdly early. See, 9.5 times out of 10, I am the mom who forgets to take the chicken out of the freezer, so we have to order pizza. Or I’m the mom who throws a present into a gift bag on the way to the birthday party (or sometimes even in the parking lot). I am NOT the early bird mom.
So if I’m not usually one for getting things done in advance, why is a Catboy costume sitting in my bedroom, collecting dust until the end of October? I wish I could say I’m just a natural planner and innately organized, but the truth is nowhere near that. The honest-to-goodness reason my son already has his store-bought costume is because of my own Halloween demons (pun intended). Growing up, store-bought, off-the-rack costumes were never an option for me.
I was too fat for those.
By fourth grade, I was wearing women’s sizes. Costume designers don’t create trendy costumes for size 14 12-year-olds. I had petite friends who could buy any costume at any store. They could be anything they wanted. My friends wore shiny pink poodle skirts, bell bottom pants with peace signs, fringe flapper dresses. While my costumes were always creative and well made (thanks, Mom), I never appreciated them because they were not what my friends had. I wanted to fit in and look like the other girls while we rang doorbells and filled pillowcases with sugar. There were always a few houses where people told my friends, “Oh! You look so pretty in your costume!” I remember getting the standard question of, “Oh, what are you supposed to be?” There was not usually a follow-up compliment.
Now, with my son, I want him to be whatever he wants to be, Halloween or anytime.
If he wants to Batman he is going to be Batman. I would move heaven and earth to find my little boy a costume he is thrilled to put on. I will fight against every fiber of my last-minute being so that he has happy Halloween memories of being Catboy. Or Darth Vader. Or whatever superhero/villain/character is his favorite that year. I absolutely loved seeing his little eyes light up when he watched me open the Amazon box. He was jumping up and down excitedly while I attempted to try it on him. I want that feeling of Halloween excitement for many more years with him.
While my son is only 3 and has basically only one Halloween memory (our family as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman), I will forever want him to look back on this holiday and have happy memories of trick-or-treating in his awesome costumes. Someday, he might be the kid who wants to wear an intricate, clever, homemade costume in order to stand out from the crowd. He could also always be the kid who just wants to wear a $25 polyester Amazon special because it matches his friends. Maybe he will ditch the costumes by sixth grade and be the kid in a graphic tee and baseball cap. I really don’t care what he is. If he loves his costume, then I will, too.