Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Tricks and Treats (or clothing sizes lie but daughter's smiles make it OK.)

My mother may think I wasted my college education on a theatre degree, but around October it comes in handy. My children are completely delighted with the large Rubbermaid storage boxes we have full of costume bits and pieces. I a bit fond of them myself. I'm only embarrassed by the fact that I only have two.

This year, as in years past, we delighted in pulling out the bits and baubles to create costumes for ourselves. My oldest found a long wig and a dashiki. Instant hippie. If he was just a bit bigger he could've worn his dad's bell bottom jeans. My youngest wore the pig costume that I made when that hippie-boy was the toddler. We've gotten a lot of mileage out of that costume. Each one of the kids have worn it. Each one made it a little different. When E. wore it she decided it was more appopriate to say "Oink" instead of "Trick or Treat". When it was S.'s turn, she added a tutu.

The Halloween trick was on me. I was helping H put together something, so she wouldn't have to be Hermione Granger again. Stripey socks and a mop cap inspired a "Ragdoll" costume. She thought that I should dress-up, too. I pull out my costume skirt and my blousy blouse that I made before I was married. It's one thing to know that you are not that same size as when you are 20. It's quite another thing to be confronted with it in a very real, concrete way. When I shop for clothes, I buy that same sizes that I did 20 years ago. Therefore, I have not changed size. (Big, fat lying clothing manufacturers). What a surprise to put on this skirt and discover that I could not fasten it shut. Not only could I not fasten it shut, I couldn't even make the hook side even get in the same county as the loop side. No big deal, I thought. I'll put on the waist cinch that I made way back when. It will tuck everything in. I'm not sure why I thought the waist cinch that I'd made at the same time I made that traitorous skirt would fit any better. Some form of denial, I'm sure.

I was about to give up on the whole idea, except for my daughter. My daughter, who was so very delighted with the idea of matching costumes with her mom. My daughter, who smiled with pure joy as we painted faces and put ribbons in our braided hair. In an instant I realized that this was important to her. Safety pins and an apron could cover what that daughter and her siblings had added to my waist. My kids don't care that I'm thicker in the middle or that I'm soft where I used to be toned.

The Halloween trick had become the Halloween treat.

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