There’s something very special about Halloween for a kid.
For me, Halloween has always existed in the upper echelon of holidays, along with birthdays and Christmas. And not just because of the inevitable sugar high either. The magic of Halloween lies in the dressing up.
I don’t remember what I was every year of my life. What I remember most is the feeling of pure, unadulterated excitement; during the preceding days as well as walking door to door. Halloween was filled with the fun and freedom of doing something that can truly only be done one night each year.
I remember being a clown, a witch, the statue of liberty and a cheerleader. Great costumes that were lots of fun to wear. But every Halloween I find myself remembering one year and one costume in particular. And it was one of my firsts.
When I was three, my dad turned me into Spider-Man.
It was so special. And not because it was an expensive store bought costume or something all the little girls were being. It was special because I really loved Spider-Man. I wanted to be him. I remember watching the cartoon show and singing the theme song. I remember dreaming about being able to swing from skyscraper to skyscraper. I had Spider-Man Underoos. They were my favorite underwear of all.
I remember my dad suiting me up that night and drawing the black lines on my tights. Oh yes, this costume was made from scratch and I remember looking down at myself and being so excited because my dream of being Spider-Man had actually come true. I felt like the luckiest little girl in the world.
Before last night, I’d had four Halloweens as a parent myself. And each of those Halloweens I’ve remembered and tried to give my son the same gift. He’s been a lion, a pumpkin, a train engineer (I thought I’d done it then) and Mr. Incredible. This year when asking what he wanted to be he was telling us a ‘monster’. And I was good with that. We actually already had a pretty cool monster costume my mom had picked up years ago for us at a thrift store.
But with Halloween still a few weeks away, my son asked to watch one of his favorite movies,and I had an idea. While he watched Wall-E zipping around a barren and polluted Earth making garbage towers, I threw a quick search into Google with the terms ‘Wall-E costume’. I found some cute examples but noticed they were all homemade. I couldn’t for the life of me find a store bought one that didn’t look cheesy. And we had never really made (at least not in their entirety) his costumes before. We tended to be store bought costume people.
But my son loves Wall-E. He can often be seen pretending he’s Wall-E, shovelling toys towards this chest and pretending to turn them into garbage squares. He has a Wall-E toy he got for Christmas last year that has risen to the level of nearly sacred to him. And I realized that Halloween could provide him the opportunity to actually be Wall-E, not just from inside his imagination but from the outside for everyone else to see as well. Just like I’d gotten to do so long ago.
My husband got to work. He constructed an amazing costume. I used my scrapbooking tools and skills to decorate and add the final details. Our final product was incredible. And I knew that my son would never forget this Halloween. We went trick or treating, but getting the candy was no where near as much fun for him as showing everyone his costume. Every kid he passed and adult who came to the door got a pretend garbage square compliments of our little Wall-E.
Thirty one years ago, my dad gave me a gift that I’ll never forget for as long as I live. And I can’t help but wonder and hope that last night, my husband and I gave the same kind of gift to our son. I sure hope so.
The circles of life are not always found in births and deaths. Sometimes they’re found in Halloween.