Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Coming to terms with it.

My mother can kind of do anything. She's a great pianist, artist, hostess, teacher, organizer, cook. I really could go on and on.

And that lady can really put together some great Halloween costumes. She is a great seamstress and really loves holidays so, as kids, we had the most darling costumes, homemade, every year.

A sampling:

(Incidentally...this is the year, I officially realized I was too old to trick or treat, when one grumpy home-owner queried: "Shouldn't you be home shaving?!" And Crystal--notice Amy in the background).

This cosumes were all hand-sewn...along with my siblings. I used to feel--seriously--sorry for the kids in my classes who would come to school with the plastic Snow White mask over there face and would really think: "Their mom must just not love them as much as mine."

See... I have deep-rooted feelings about the importance of Halloween costumes!

So then I started having children and was all gung-ho about making them great costumes.


I don't sew.

At all.

I really can't even make the no-sew costumes that magazines put out in every October issue.

But I tried, because I couldn't just BUY their costumes! Really loving mothers don't do that! Here is Emma's 2nd and Gabe's 1st Halloween:

They were peas and carrots. They looked really cute (though Emma kept pleading to take it off: "No no want it carrots, Mom!"), but were completely falling apart before the Snickers' wrappers did.

The next year, I scoured magazines and tried to decide how to live up to this Halloween-Costume-Ideal in my head. I gave up the idea of homemade. But, I figured the next best thing was matching costumes. Emma would be Belle (purchased dress, altered by my MOTHER of course) and Gabe (Beast, purchased lion costume, with Grandma-made prince attire over the top).

The next year, it all came to a head. I had three kids, no sewing skills, no mother close-by and children who seemed to think THEY should choose their own costumes (excuse me?). And that's when I discovered:

That's right. Grandma Target.

It took a few years to feel totally comfortable with it. (My mom is so nice, when I apologize/explain the lack of Love-Filled-Homemade Costumes: "Oh, honey. They're so much better made nowadays. I would buy them now, too, I promise.") I felt guilty every time I opened up that web page. I gazed wistfully/jealously at others' homemade works of art.

(the fateful first year of --gasp!--store bought costumes)

I'm over that.

There is great joy in our house, when I announce (with all the love, nurturing and warmth this Mommy has to offer): "Be thinking about your costumes, guys! It's family-crowd-around-the-computer-and-pick-out-your-costume-night tonight."

I'm pretty sure they still know their Momma loves them.


buddens said...

I'm loving "Grandma Target!" So true for more than just Halloween costumes. It can cheer you up on a cloudy day, and they even have their equivalent of Grandma's treat jar ... only it's a soft pretzel and fountain soda. And the little trinkets and surprises from her pockets? The dollar spot. If only the carts were padded like a soft grandma's lap.

Rochelleht said...

Oh, I love it! I was a freak about the matching costumes for years. If I couldn't find it, I made it. Then I got 4 kids. Yeah, right. I would have NEVER repeated a costume in the first years of motherhood, but this year, Derick is the dog that Ethan wore years ago. I will say that I will never let them repeat a costume they wore themselves. At least I still have some standards.

I think that when your kids grow up and tell their friends about the crazy amazing holiday celebrations you throw for them, they will be the envy of all the kids in the dorm. And they will know they were loved.

Laurie said...

I also like the Papa over at Old Navy--his costumes are warm and always on sale.

So over the guilt from buying costumes. And I even repeat (can I help it Jake still loves Buzz?). But heck, my brother was a handmade Robin Hood for 4 years in a row--by choice!

Love the old pictures.

diane said...

I almost didn't recognize you as a blonde. You rocked it.

queenieweenie said...

I got the giggles so bad because that is EXACTLY what I go through. My mom made all our costumes-and they were elaborate! I remember hand-beading an Indian (sorry, Native American) costume for me in High School! Now that my kiddos are older and have definite opinions about what they will/will NOT be for Halloween...it's no fun for me. Wahhh.

Shannan said...

We SOOOOO go to Grandma Target every year! Here's is where my turning point happened. I slaved over a very creative costume one year and that night it was so cold that my son had to wear his winter coat OVER the costume. After that, I swore that my time would be better spent taking a bath or watching Project Runway or something and then just buy the dang costume that will have a coat over it.

Abbie said...

100% sure that your kids know you love them.

♥Shally said...

Love the blond hair!

We are all about the store bought costumes over here.

But I freak out about not making my own Christmas cards. Last year I bought them and I still feel guilty!!!

Lauren in GA said...

I loved this post so, so much! I was thinking of a post somewhat similar...because each of my boys have worn the same exact *gasp* pirate costume at the same age. I feel shame when I think about it and I decided that I might have to do a post on dealing with my guilt.

I noticed the blonde hair, too. Va va va voom ;)

So, was that homeowner insinuating that you needed to shave your legs with that comment? How utterly rude, if so!

You know though...I think your mom is being truthful with you...when I was young the entire costume was plastic...you know the costume was printed right on a plastic suit that you stepped into and tied at the neck...Target and other places really do have such cute things now.

Annemarie said...

I just want you to know that I have had those EXACT feelings. Then I, too discovered the wonders of Target. I almost cried with that first click to "add to the cart"...then they came in the mail and the most I had to do was open the package. LOVED IT!

Bridget said...

I don't sew either but don't feel guilty about it one bit. Like Rochelle said, you think off all the great holiday parties you do throughout the year, they will have such fond, fond memories of those. Homemade Halloween costumes or not.

Jenibelle said...

HOT DAMN!!! FINALLY...something I can really do...sew Halloween costumes. I am your Mom only in a different body and a tad younger. I am a wacko about Halloween costumes and I love to create them. Imagine my dismay last year when Scotty wanted to be a box. This year he wants to be a bed sheet. He took all the wind out of my creativity sails.

Anisa said...

My mom always made our costumes too. She still has all of them if you want to borrow one. I think Target is the best option. My mom made a costume for Brenner when he was 2 and he wouldn't wear it.

AMY said...

My mom doesn't sew either, and if she had attempted to make our costumes growing up I think I would have been mortified. At least, you're not traumatizing any kids. Plus, who can resist the ninja turtle costumes?

G-Unit said...

OH MY! I am laughing so hard, cause my mom was/is the same way! I have swindled her into making a few costume (ver, very cute ones), and this year Ava will wear a costume my mom made for me when I was her age. It must have all come from Grandma! I too have felt the same way that mothers who buy their kids costumes are losers who can't do anything, but Grandma Target has rescued me so many times, I have gotten over the fact, that I can't sew, I work full time, I go to school full time, and single parent.
So I am with you 100%! :) Thanks for saying it for all the moms who can't do everything! Though your parties, put my lame parties to shame.....YOu really are supermom!

Christie said...

I had a mom like yours growing up, only I didn't want the creative, homemade, quality costume. I wanted the cheap plastic snow white crap mask. So, as a result, I happily buy my kids' costumes. And they fall apart the week after Halloween. But I totally feel good about it.

Who needs therapy now?

J'net said...

Have you started a "costume" bucket or closet yet?
LOVE Target, the only down side of island life is NO
TARGET!?!? Have to go to one EVERY time I mainland!
YES, your mom is amazingly talented... Clone possibility? Enjoy the season, Jesse and Jenna are still planning to dress up and do the whole candy collecting scene, I guess some Sherrill's never outgrow it!?!? Aloha

rubberbandgirl said...

So I suppose I have Great Grandma Target because my mother buys my kids' costumes on close-out a year earlier and hopes that they'll like them the following year.
This is why Bryce will be a "Cown"(clown) instead of a Jedi or Transformer, which he'd REALLY love, even at 2.

andrea said...

this is my favorite post ever. i can relate to every sentence you wrote. i totally felt sorry for kids with store bought costumes when i was little. mine were all top of the line, made by mom, amazing.
and now, i've got one walmart batgirl, one ebay storm trooper, and one dollar store gory makeup corpse.
and it's great.

Paige said...

You make an excellent point. Although it has never occurred to me to make a costume. I see those cute costumes people make and wonder why they could make it when you can buy a super cute one? We are matching this year. Except for THAT ONE child.

Hazen5 said...

I tried home-made costumes, it stopped the second year after my second child was born! I am so glad you are "Coming to Terms" too, it took me about a second!

Hollyween said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. There's this girl in my ward and she is ultra talented. And I mean, ULTRA. She hand makes and they are simply stunning and I seriously have felt like a bad mom because I don't know how to sew.

Now? I am so over it. Long live Target.

Ilene said...

Love those jelly beans.

I'm trying to do a matching theme this year but we shall see if it pans out because it will require me to create custom costumes together (but no sew versions).

I may be buying the reject costumes off the floor of Target come Halloween day.

gab said...

Let's hear it for moms who know their limits!

My daughter got her entire witch costume from THE DOLLAR STORE. Completely ghetto, but she's thrilled.

Carie said...

Halloween costumes give me rage. Every year I spend TOO much time, energy and money on them.

We already had our ward party so my costumes are done.

Erin said...

Your mom IS amazing. We love Aunty Dorrie. But, my dear, you are no less amazing. IMHO (and it's probably because I buy costumes too AND don't sew), buying costumes is the only way to go. ;)