Friday, October 26, 2007
On Wednesday, I introduced you to this image: Joey wearing the hood to the Halloween costume I made for him.
My mom always made our costumes when we were little, and they were things of wonder. I was Bo Beep with apron and calico dress, fluffy with eyelet lace. I was Tinker Bell, in green velvet complete with little zig-zag hem, a re-make from my brother's Peter Pan costume, complete with little Robin Hood style hat. I was a witch with a lined, zig-zag edged cape and dress and little broom. There was the spotted cat costume. There was the ghost costume with two veils, so that I seemed to drift over the night. There was teh Charlie Brown Ghost costume- complete with a drawing of Snoopy as the Red Baron on the back, and all the eyeholes on the front. There was the caterpillar costume that became the flea in teh flea circus (the school has a circus theme one year). My mom could make costumes. I remember them. They were, to me at the very least, works of art; and I still have that little witch cape to prove it.
When we bought the fabric for the Little Bear costume, my life was looking a little different from now. I have no idea where my mom got time to make my costumes, but I do have some memory of her at the sewing machine. My guys see the sewing machine and their whole goal in life is to touch the needle and work the pedal and steal the thread. But it was OK- it was Andy's first day of school, and I would have a few hours a week to myself, and could spare some to make a costume. It turned out to be cheaper to buy one (and I'm sure my mom made ours when we were little partly because it was far cheaper to do so), but I persevered; I would make my child's Halloween costume. As it should be.
There are some images that the American public hold as icons of normalcy. Norman Rockwell life come home to our own peaceful existance, testiments to tranquility, to liberty, to the American Dream. Moms bake cookies. Kids play on bicycles. Dads take out the trash and mow the lawn. Making Halloween costumes is one of those images. There is nothing that says "peace in life" than a home=made Halloween costume. Yes, I know most of us don't do it. Like I said, these days, its so much cheaper to buy one. But it's just one of those things. Besides, I come from a long history of a search for normalcy- I grew up with the gifted kids. I actually wrote papers in college about how kids labeled "gifted" create subculture based on a search for normalcy- with a skewed sense of what "normal" means. I'll blog about that sometime. Back to the topic at hand...
Even with Andy pulled from school, the loss of those few hours (which we have filled with a grand old time, I must say), and the chaos of life as usual, I have persevered yet again, and the costume is made. Its not as beautiful as the costumes my mom made. The front tummy patch is askew. the legs are not of equal length, nor are the sleeves. But it is done, it zips up, and the hood is made.
So I gave Joey the hood the other day, so he would see he was really going to be Little Bear for Halloween. He promptly put it on. When it was time for bed, he melted down when I told him he had to take it off. He "wanted his Halloween." That nightly complaint has changed to "I want to be Little Bear!" In the morning, he comes down the stairs and puts it on. He quietly takes it off to go to school. He comes home from school, goes the table, fetches the hood, and puts it on. He wears it all afternoon, and cries when bedtime comes, and it is time to take it off.
When Joey is in his hood, he is Little Bear. He loves being Little Bear. It makes him so happy to be Little Bear, and have his brother T-Rex, and relax in his house and have Mom bake him cookies. Before, he just was Little Bear, reminded everyone he was Little Bear, and Andy was T-Rex, and I was Mother Bear, and Janene was Big Bear, and Miss Megan was Medium Bear, and Grandma became Grandmother Bear, and sometimes Andy was Duck. But now... now he has a hood, brown and furry and with ears. He is Little Bear. The transformation is complete.
I wonder what he will do when he realizes there is a whole body costume and mittens to go with the hat.