I have always been creative, but I have never been good at Halloween. As a little kid I was, of course, always excited for the dressing up and the candy. I lived in a neighbourhood full of young families, so everyone took part. It was one of my father’s favourite times of the year, and we always stopped at his house to see if he would recognize us. One of the only pictures he had of us on display n his house from taken by him, at his front door, on Halloween.
For costumes my sister and I would usually raid the costume basket my mother kept stocked for us, and a wardrobe she had in the basement full of her old clothes (including a gorgeous red velvet bridesmaid dress that we horribly mistreated).
There was one year when my mother caved to our requests that she buy us costumes – which in the 80s meant plastic smocks with a picture on the front that came with a plastic mask. Rather than wear the mask, though, I scribble on my face with all of the face paint crayons at the same time. Like no other Cabbage Patch Kid seen before.
Twice my mother tried to make us costumes. The year my sister and I were both My Little Ponies was awesome, and the poodle skirts were pretty great too. But she hated sewing clothes, so there weren’t a lot of those years.
My proudest moment was probably the year I dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, complete with mask and cape. There aren’t a lot of other costumes I really remember – most were some version of witch or princess.
I was also one of those kids that stopped wearing a costume in high school for fear that it would be embarrassing or I’d be the only one.
I never would have been. Lots of people at my school dressed up, including some very creative teachers, but I just sort of ran out of creativity.
And then my kid came along, and I love helping her be whatever she wants to be for Halloween.
When she was a baby I bought her a money costume, because she was our little monkey, but I hit my stride on her second Halloween.
I got her a lion costume, but rather than just let her be a lion, we put on her jersey and she became Ottawa Senators mascot Spartacat.
She has been a princess, a Mountie, a rainbow unicorn, Doc McStuffins, who is awesome and amazing.
This year she had talked about being Hermione – mostly because I once pointed out how much she could look like Hermione given how poufy her hair gets if I braid it when it’s went and then she takes the braids out after it dries. I even bought her a Gryffindor robe in anticipation, though she hasn’t seen the movies or read any of the books yet.
(Soon, my pet, very soon).
And then we sat down as a family and watched The Force Awakens.
There was no turning back.