The night I got to be Spider-Man

by Carolyn on November 1, 2009


The original Spider-Man

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.

Carolyn, Halloween 1978

Carolyn, Halloween 1978

Nolan, Halloween 2009

Nolan, Halloween 2009


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tammy November 1, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Great memories for all of you! My best, was my hand sewn smurf costume. I loved smurfs. I still have it and my boys dress up in it at my mom’s. Sadly when Peyton is in it it looks like me all over again,poor boy! My mom was the best I never wore a store bought costume and they were those sheets of plastic things then!


2 Carolyn November 2, 2009 at 10:15 am

My stepmom made many of my costumes growing up. She was very crafty. And come to think of it, I seem to remember her making me a smurf one year too! So funny. It was great, but the blue paint was crazy! (I don’t know how that Blue Man Group does it night after night!) And I had forgotten about the sheet of plastic costumes! LOL! So funny! I remember they were a sheet of plastic with a mask. At least (for my sake) the store bought ones have improved a ton. Can’t wait to see pics of Peyton this year!


3 Tammy November 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm


Well done, Momma!
.-= Tammy´s last blog ..Go Ask Alice =-.


4 Carolyn November 2, 2009 at 10:15 am

Thanks Tammy. Your family’s costumes rocked this year too!


5 Urchin November 1, 2009 at 8:55 pm

As a wannabe costumer myself, and a HUGE fan of Wall-E I have to rave about this. Not only have you and your husband provided your son with a costume he can be proud of, but you did it RIGHT. I look at this, and I see the character from a now beloved movie in my collection. I see the grinning face coming up from beneath those giant robotic eyes and I find myself just a little bit jealous of your crafting skills.

You put some amazing time and effort into this costume and it’s paid off.


6 Carolyn November 2, 2009 at 10:17 am

Thanks Urchin! He certainly was proud to be Wall-E. What I’ve always been impressed with is that he actually understands why Wall-E is a hero. Of course I can’t help but look at his costume now and see all the little discrepancies I could have done better. The perfectionist in me – I shouldn’t even look anymore. ;)


7 Urchin November 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm

The perfectionist in me says you did a phenomenal job. Looking again, yes there are discrepancies, but there were so many of those little machines at one point, maybe he was just on the other side of the planet. A counterpart with the same glitch?

Did I mention I was also really fond of rationalizing when I can? Seriously though, I think that if you send this in to Disney they’ll try to hire you and yours. <3


8 Carolyn November 3, 2009 at 8:36 pm

You are too kind. Hey I was thinking of you when I put my latest pics on facebook. There’s a picture of Nolan at Legoland with his dukes up to Darth Vader. He was dressed up as Mr. Incredible and I told him that it was the continual battle of good vs. eeeevil!


9 Holly Ann November 2, 2009 at 7:41 am

As kids my Mom would always make our costumes and they were always very cool… i was very proud of the fact that she took the time to make them and the kids would always ask where we got our costumes (and they were always good enough that nobody asked “what are you?”)… i did the same with my kids when they were little… we still have all the costumes and even as teenagers my kids are proud when they say that i made all our costumes and we still have them… this weekend my 15 year old daughter was invited to a costume party and we took some of her friends with us to get her costume out of storage… we have three large totes full of stuff and her friends were in awe…

you were so cute as SpiderMan and you did an EXCELLENT job with the Wall-E costume… he looks so very proud… Good Job, Mommy and Daddy!


10 Carolyn November 2, 2009 at 10:20 am

Thanks Holly Ann! It sounds like you were quite the Halloween aficionado as well! I hope this year marks a change for us in making each year’s costume. This was too much fun for all of us to quit now!


11 Erin M. November 2, 2009 at 8:33 am

This post is incredible. I love the photo of you as a child coupled with the one of your son. The Wall-E costume turned out AMAZING and you did a wonderful job. I bet he had a blast!

I am stopping by from SITS and trying to figure out how to be your newest follower!
.-= Erin M.´s last blog ..Sunday Stealing –The Strange Question Meme, Part 1 =-.


12 Carolyn November 2, 2009 at 10:23 am

Thanks Erin! He did have fun. I think you can follow me via the Google reader, but I’m not on Blogger, so following is a bit different. You can subscribe though through RSS if you like!


13 Joey November 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm

I really hope my daughter views it as a gift as well. I was really proud of her Snow Princess costume this year. My mom always put a lot of effort into Halloween as well – so many nice memories!
.-= Joey´s last blog ..My first award =-.


14 Carolyn November 3, 2009 at 8:37 pm

It’s amazing the sense of accomplishment it provides for us as parents, regardless of how the kids feel about it.


15 American in Norway November 3, 2009 at 10:25 am

I too, always loved Halloween… my mom made the best costumes.. I haven’t been so creative with my kids… the always want something off of the shelf.

Popping by via SITS… hope you have a wonderful week.


16 Carolyn November 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Thank you! Our son has always been happy with store bought too. This was the first year he wanted something that we couldn’t buy. We were forced to do this, but I’m so glad we were!


17 Sassy Chica November 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm

What a beautifully written post, I loved the way you expressed yourself, I felt your enthusiasm and gratification!

Sassy Chica
.-= Sassy Chica´s last blog ..Sassy Randomness =-.


18 Carolyn November 3, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Thanks Chica!


19 WhiteSockGirl November 4, 2009 at 6:47 am

So adorable. Your costume and his.

We don’t have Halloween so I am slightly jealous. Ok, a tit bit more than Halloween.
.-= WhiteSockGirl´s last blog ..The Bitch Diary, (Wednesday, 04 November 2009) =-.


20 Carolyn November 10, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Thanks WhiteSockGirl! I can’t believe you don’t have Halloween! That’s my annual candy fix!!


21 Eva Gallant November 4, 2009 at 11:56 am

What a totally cute Wall E! And spiderman was precious too!

just stopped by from SITS to say hi; hope you’ll do the same.


22 Carolyn November 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Thanks Eva!


23 Angelia November 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm


This is incredibly awesome! What a memory! Terrific job on the costume. I lovelovelove both pics!
.-= Angelia´s last blog ..Confession Wednesday! =-.


24 Carolyn November 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Thanks Angelia! We worked hard on it. Just like my dad did.


25 Betsy November 5, 2009 at 11:50 am

Adorable! Love it. There is nothing like homemade…


26 Carolyn November 10, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Thanks Betsy!


27 Nikki November 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I am not nearly as articulate as you are, but as I read all your blogs, I am getting to know new things about you all the time. Nolan looked great, you did a fantastic job, you perfectionist you. We feel fortunate to have met you and your family, and cherish the time we spend with you, although it never seems long enough, and sounds empty because I lack the proper language to express what I really want to say.


28 Carolyn November 10, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Hi Nikki! I’m so glad you’re reading! I wasn’t sure if you had stumbled across this place yet. We are very thankful for our close relationship with your family too.

And your comment wasn’t empty at all! You are wonderfully articulate.


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