Halloween Costumes.. there's always next year!
I remember my daughter’s first Halloween. I was working in The Loop and rushed home early to dress her in costume, beyond excited to wheel her around the neighborhood in her little wagon before the Trick or Treat hours concluded. In my dreams I envisioned us walking up and down the streets, neighbors gawking at my cute little Flintstone, collecting King Size candy bars and returning home to a lit fire in our fireplace.
That evening, I changed her quickly into her costume and began obsessively taking pictures. I had to document this “first.” After all--pics or it didn’t happen, right?! My photography session (and excitement) probably lasted about two minutes before I had enough wherewithal to recognize I was acting slightly insane. In reality it was raining, freezing, and her little Pebbles booty shorts stood no chance against the Chicago fall. In fact, based on the empty streets of my neighborhood, it didn’t look like many kids’ costumes would outlast the cold that night. So, I finished my mini photo shoot, took her costume off (major waste of $35+, thank you Etsy), and instead heated up some leftovers. There was always next year.
Fast forward twelve months. We’d dress Laynie in a fuzzy Elmo costume, heavy enough to keep her warm no matter what the weather might bring. Elmo even came with a full fuzzy hat, so not only would she be the most delicious-looking Elmo on the block, but she would be warm. I’d learned my lesson. My husband and I made plans to trick or treat with our friends a few houses over. In my dreams, we would walk with her and her little buddy from house to house, collecting candy and stickers, and finish the night at home ordering pizza and drinking wine while the kids ate candy corn ‘til their tummies hurt.
Again came the race home from work. But, in reality, every time we attempted to put her in the Elmo costume she screamed, and we lasted outside maybe two houses before calling it quits. Hey, there’s always next year!
And here we are: next year. This time we let Laynie choose her own costume. She is going to be a dog this year, and I continuously ask her with the utmost excitement if she’s excited to wear it on Halloween. This is more so a gesture to remind her of her choice (and with hopes that when the time comes she will actually want to put it on!). In my dreams it will be 65 degrees, and my “dog” and I will be running from house to house screaming “Trick or treat!!”, collecting candy like it’s a job. But, in reality, I know better. No amount of excitement, sunshine, or bribes can ensure my dream will come true. After all, she’s a toddler. So even if my October 31st doesn’t turn out like my dream, I know one thing’s for sure: there’s always next year!