You see, at one time, I entertained dreams of theatre stardom... thankfully, I came to terms very early on that I wasn't made of the kind of stuff theatre people need to be - that is the ability to stay positive in the face of constant rejection and long periods without a substantial paycheck. Instead, once a year, I get to stretch what's left of my thespian muscle and dress up. Now, to be honest, since my daughter entered my life, I haven't done any of the dressing up myself. What I know of costuming gets put into her annual creation.
I've had some greats, if I do say so myself. There was the pirate with parrot (or since she was 4 at the time, parakeet) sewn to the shoulder. The year she wanted to be an American Idol contestant (not too difficult, but got rave reviews). Or last year's flower with roots (a 1st place prize winner). They may not sound all that impressive, but the details would have blown you away.
This year she is a German girl. I was inspired by a milk ad with Heidi Klum. She's going to look adorable; braid rings and tasseled socks included. And as is tradition, she and my husband will go out trick or treating while I stay home to pass out candy. It's a job I freely accept since I like to see what other parents put into costuming their own children (as well as themselves). It's a peek into a personality, don't you agree? Let's be honest, the person that puts that slutty nurse costume on themselves, has a little bit of slutty nurse in them.
So here's my gripe... (any regular reader of my little blog knows there has to be some complaint-filled question to the universe). Why are there so many parents dressed in amazingly detailed ensembles, all of which say "Look At Me", while their kids are in their Power Rangers pjs calling it a costume? I'm back on that issue of priorities.
I can appreciate the parent wearing a costume in the spirit of the holiday because it means something to children that their parents get involved and act like big kids themselves sometimes. I can appreciate the kid not wanting to put on a costume, because it's hot or itchy or whatever. But if we are just talking "I want to look good and show off and you can wear your pj's for all I care"... well, then I have a problem. Truth be told, if my daughter didn't want to wear a costume, what the Hell am I wearing one for? No costume, no trick or treating. No trick or treating, no need for me to be dressed as a slutty nurse.
I think this goes to a point I've made before (if not once, five times). Parents, you already had a shot at childhood. It's your kids' turn at bat. So you say your childhood was lousy? Well then give your kids the childhood you wished you had and sleep well in the knowledge that you have done better by the next generation. But don't steal the spotlight from them, this is their time to shine. Stay in the wings and a bit of stardom will find you - it's in your child's smile and the joy in their eyes.