Oh, Halloween, how I hate thee. I can trace my disdain for the holiday back to my own youth. My (wonderful) mother (whom I adore) was not much of a planner or a seamstress. As a result, I never had particularly good costumes. It was not unusual to, at the last-minute, unearth a sheet (not even a white one!) hastily cut out eyes and be pushed out the door. It didn’t help that my (warm, loving) father despised the tradition and would mutter about “beggars coming to his door” until he eventually declared that no one over five feet was allowed to get candy from us. As the years progressed he and my mother would go out for the evening, leaving the house dark. On more than one occasion he came home to an egged or TP’d crib. Oh, memories.
Fast forward to my own children and the angst of Halloween. I vividly recall October 30, 1998. Harrison was almost four and totally got it. I was working full-time and had been putting off going to the store to buy something unbearably cute for him to wear for the preschool parade. Suddenly I was panicked and decided that lunch would be a good time to go to the local iParty (yeah, the one with police directing traffic into and out of the parking lot) to pick out a costume. My naiveté got the better of me in that I actually thought there would be something left to choose from. Imagine my heartbreak when I discovered that there were basically no costumes left, save the cowboy or the creepy clown. Since he was a boy, I naturally grabbed the cowboy, threw in whatever toy gun I could get my hands on and stood on-line for a good half an hour to make the purchase. I wish I could say that in subsequent years I planned further ahead, but, alas, I did not. It never presented a problem as there was always a “boy appropriate” something that could be thrown together: Superman (complete with a six packed chest), Spiderman (at an age when wearing red tights was still okay) and the old standby cowboy get-up.
By the time George (n.c.i.*) came along, I had become fairly adept at pulling together a costume and, in my infinite wisdom, was actually ahead of the game having saved all of Harrison’s from years gone by. It was all cool until George was three. No longer content to be sausaged into one of the super hero costumes at his disposal , he declared that he wanted to be a fairy. Or a princess. Or a fairy princess. Or Belle (from “Beauty and the Beast”). Okay, that’s cool. So, a fairy (or princess or Belle) it would be.
Now this is not so out of the ordinary as I happened (through the powers of Facebook) to have seen at least three of my friend’s little boys dressed as princesses this past Halloween. And none of them, to the best of my knowledge, have (or intend to) identify as transgender. But when George did it, there was something different – a pure, unadulterated joy – and a deep desire, in his mind, for every day to be Halloween. So, on we went and you all know where we’ve landed.
Since having transitioned to Jessie she has pretty much grown out of her princess phase, but I fully anticipated a female-based presentation this year. It would only stand to reason, right? Wrong. No, this year, after batting around a few different options (one of which was a witch – hmmm…dark, scary female, but decidedly female) she opted to make her own costume. With a few trips to AC Moore and WalMart she was able to create something way cooler than anything I would have bought (yesterday).
The burning question among you, faithful readers, is probably: “so…how did Jessie celebrate her first Halloween?!!?” (A fair question, for sure.) Hint: she wasn’t a fairy, or a princesses, or a cocktail waitresses (seriously, have you seen some of the outfits they are marketing to kids now???) No, this year, Jessie was a tiger. An adorable, genderless tiger. Now, I am no expert, but methinks that has to mean something. Anyone?
*name choice intended