When I was four years old, my mom dressed me as a spider for Halloween. She handmade the intricate, black costume and rigged the spider legs to move whenever I moved. I’m not sure how long it took, but I doubt it was easy.
She dressed me in the costume and led me to a mirror where I could marvel at the costume she had created. But when I saw myself I started screaming. The costume was scary, and I refused to wear it.
I don’t actually remember the incident, but my mom and I laugh about it every year. Then we remember the year she and my dad stayed up half the night braiding a long yellow wig made of yarn to complete my Rapunzel costume. The braid was so long I dragged it all across the house, neighborhood and gym at the church carnival we went to later that night. It wasn’t really yellow anymore when we got home.
Naturally, we then move on to the Dorothy costume almost every girl has at one point in her Halloween history – but remember how mine was special because of the matching Toto costume she made for my favorite stuffed pig, Wilbur. We recount the time I was a pumpkin, a ballerina, Jasmine, a pirate and, most recently, a zombie cheerleader.
Each costume inspires a unique memory from my favorite holiday, which just happens to be my birthday. By mentally flipping through the catalogue of costumes, we recount lost details of birthday parties, cakes and massive amounts of candy.
Halloween is fun. It is a time to dress up, carve a pumpkin and eat truckloads of candy without feeling guilty.
It provides a chance to create an alter ego while making memories with family and friends.