While Halloween can invoke images of horror movies and things that go bump in the night, to me it brings back a wave of much more pleasant images.
When the kids were younger, Halloween was not just one night a year, it was a year long preparation for them. As soon as one Halloween was done, my kids' imaginations quickly turned to what supper-duper costume they would wear the following year.
I have to admit I secretly enjoyed this process. I liked to sew and costumes were just so much more fun that plain old pants or shirts.
I also must add that I was known to get a little, okay a lot, carried away at times in this creative process!
One year my littlest one, Alexi, who was about five years old at the time, told me he wanted to be a "polisman" like daddy. I took it literally!
I spent a couple of weeks creating a mini-version of a state police uniform, down to the patches, breeches and all!
My older kids felt that I was being obsessive because they thought Alexi was too little to appreciate my efforts. I personally thought that they were a little upset that his costume might be better than theirs!
On Halloween night as we were heading out to trick-or-treat with our crew the sight of my little Alexi grinning ear-to-ear was all the proof I needed to show me that the extra effort was worth it.
The lesson here is that I did not go all out on his costume to out do any one else. To show of my sewing skills, or lack there of.
In reality the motive was a little bit selfish. I actually enjoyed it! To me it was like an artist creating a painting or a writer creating a story.
Sadly at times we parents, especially women, get caught up in the trying to be all, do all and impress people we do not even like, just to prove what great moms we are.
What good is it to have your kid in the best costume in the world if first of all he did not even want to be what you made or bought, or two, you have been such a basket case about it for weeks, lovable and caring are not exactly the first two words your family would think of, when they reflect on your mood during that time?
If you are so consumed with stress, resentment and just plain tired, what good are you to your family or to yourself?
What joy could possible come out of that?
I must admit I was bummed out when the kids got older and wanted to do their own costumes or even not bother with dressing up, but not because of the showing off part, just because I missed my blank canvases to work on.
Now that all my kids are mostly grown I still enjoy the fact that they still like dressing up, and now that I am a Grammy JJ, what my little grandson, Tiki, calls me, I get to live the experience all over again.
While Tiki has absolutely the best mom and dad in the world, and does not need me to make anything for him because his parents love the process themselves because they get that its all about having fun and not just the one night involved.
I do however get to dig out the mini cop uniform to put it on my grandson for a photo, something we were not able to do with Alexi as a camera was not handy at the time.
I no longer have the year long process in my life and while I miss it, I am okay with it, because I was so blessed to have kids that allowed me the opportunity to hang out and play with them in the amazing worlds that reside within their imagination.
I am just thankful that I was not so over-whelmed or stressed out that I missed it.
So this Hallows eve its my turn to play, I get to be the one to materialize for the real world the glimmers of the world of make believe I call my own, something that I, despite the hard life I had as a youngster, I was fortunate enough to be able to hold on to intact.
To all my fellow grown-ups, how about we let go of the world, if only for one night and remember the fun times of our youth?
I think it will lighten our load, quicken our step and make us realize that playing in the sandbox once in a while is still okay to do!
Last one to the door bell owes me a lollipop!