Through middle school, I began to let go of my [tight] hold on the kids for their Halloween costumes. I guess I was ready for the break, and they were ready to take on the daunting task of planning and executing such a tremendous feat.
By high school, they were independent in their Halloween design. And I enjoyed seeing what they came up with. They were exercising their individuality, doing something that didn’t rely on a group to pull off. It was a time of discovery for them, learning who they were apart from the pack, practicing being unique, separate beings.
Although, even when they thought they were independent from each other, they still couldn’t shake that “quadruplet’ vibe.
When they went away to college, it was the first time for them to strike out on their own. Pierce went to Wyoming, Charlie to Fort Collins, and Spencer and Molly to Boulder—though with Molly living in off-campus housing, she and Spencer rarely saw each other. When Halloween rolled around, they had their first real chance to dress up for the holiday without influences from their other siblings.
And without talking to each other, guess what they each decided to be? Miles apart, with no collaboration, Spencer chose Superman, Pierce picked Captain America, and Charlie went as Spiderman. They were exercising some kind of quadruplet ESP. When Molly learned that her brothers were planning a superhero theme costuming after all (via phone—the brain vibes weren’t that strong), she wanted to be a part too, even without a party or other Halloween activity planned, even though they’d all be apart. She made a Wonder Woman tiara and cape, just because after so many years of the tradition, you can’t just walk away.
So for my #9 pick of our Halloween costumes, I’m going to pick the many variations that have come up through the years (especially the ones that are planned via ESP). The costumes my kids came up without me, using the imagination I worked to instill in them to explore the fun possibilities. And with a nod to those that echo in the distant past, I pick those that were a part of developing my love for dressing up. Molly’s milk carton with the lost child on the side is one of my favorite types of costumes—giant replicas to wear. When I was in high school, I was a Pepsi can with a giant pull tab on my head. I helped my older sister create a kleenex box. Ten years later, I made my baby sister a huge energizer battery, with a pie tin on her head as the positive-end button. In early adulthood, I was a carton of Haagen-Dazs ice cream with a huge spoon to go with it. When the kids created their own costumes, they included characters like Darth Vader, Padmé, and Phantom of the Opera. They were a WWII pilot and pirates, a clown and a cop. It’s fun to see what they come up with now each year. It would be hard for a Halloween to come and go without some kind of commemoration after all the fuss we made of it every year.
I still want to do Goldilocks and the Three Bears—one I never did accomplish but so wish I had—but they just never got excited about that group. Once they were older, I even thought one of the boys could be Goldilocks instead of Molly, just for the added laughs. I should have done it when they were tiny and couldn’t protest (or when I would ignore their protests anyway). Now it seems I missed my window of opportunity. But if they won’t wear bear costumes and yellow braids, I guess I could always get a photo of three bears and a girl and photoshop in their faces.
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