So there we were Sunday, oldest boy, grands and I, out shopping for Halloween costumes. I know Halloween is weeks away but this happened to be a weekend where 1) he had the kids and 2) I didn’t have plans – whoop!
We started out slow but smart – at a Chinese buffet – Yum! The kids love that because they can each dish up whatever they like. Later, an elderly couple stopped by to compliment them on their “nice” restaurant manners. Apparently the kids they’d been seated to the night before were “beasts,” per the Grandmother. Yikes, glad that wasn’t the case for us.
We arrived at the store and found our way to the Halloween display. Now if you’re going shopping with me you need to know we try everything – all the displays, the sounds, the costumes, you name it. We weren’t in a hurry and I think that’s what the kids like the most – we “moseyed” and they had time to point, laugh and be silly.
MJ ran right past the Princesses (yay!) and declared her choice: Supergirl. AB hand-picked a white Ninja costume with, ahem, built in muscles. Of course he had to get the $2.00 sword and she couldn’t resist the $4.00 bejeweled mask. They stayed in costume the rest of the day :).
Talking over their Halloween plans, I mentioned growing up on a farm and how we couldn’t go “trick or treating” door to door – our nearest neighbor was a 1/2 mile away. Instead, I told them that my Mom and Aunt would load us up in the Pontiac (with the heat on high) and we’d visit 4 or 5 farms (mostly relatives) where we’d sing a song (Billy Boy) and enjoy home-made treats. By the end of the night – and 5 farm visits later – we had a pillow case and a tummy full of treats.
Most of the time we made our costumes and we recycled year after year. As we got older Mom would break down and let us buy a costume. Remember the plastic clothing? Freezing cold and guaranteed to rip 20 minutes into the wearing. And those masks let us all experience our first full facial sweat. Yuck.
Their excitement was palpable and it was in watching MJ’s facial expressions that I remembered a picture of me taken around that age.
Compare to the cheeks on our MJ:
Come to think of it, I’ve always loved Halloween and the excitement that came with it. I wasn’t a fan of the scary/gory stuff (still not) but the dressing up and the planning and the treats and the rest of it? Bring it on!
How about you? When you were a kid, did you make your costume? Ever recycle year over year? Do you remember a full facial sweat in a gorilla mask? What was the best home-made treat someone made then? Do you see family resemblances across your generations? Do tell.