Halloween is, and has always been one of my favorite days of the year. I love whimsy and play, so I have always seen it as a great opportunity to be someone or something different for a day. My love for Halloween intensified immensely when I had children. My mother picked out my first costume for Jake, and he went as the ever classic pumpkin. I assure you, he was the cutest pumpkin in the whole patch. The following year, I decided to “cheese off” (yes, every pun intended there… tee hee) my Packer fan neighbors, and dress Jake as the Detroit Lions QB, Joey Harrington. He looked so tough, being a mighty Lion and all…..
After that year, I allowed Jake to consider what costume he’d like, and pick his brother’s costumes also. He always picked unique and interesting things, and so I was always challenged to create these costumes from bits and pieces of other things, rather than buy the stock shelf costumes that every other child in the neighborhood had. This has always been an interesting challenge, and I hope to detail the making of each costume throughout the month of Halloween for your viewing pleasure. However, today’s blog will be more focused on preparing for Halloween this year.
Sadly… I fear that Jake might be outgrowing the Halloween concept. Though I never will outgrow it, apparently, Jake seems to be avoiding the whole subject all together. I started asking Jake, as I do every year, to start considering what he’d like to be. No answer. I asked again and started making suggestions. Eventually, he made mention that maybe he’d like to be an “Army guy” if he had to. Interestingly, Ryan and I had just discussed how he (Ryan) is no longer draft age eligible, and how that’s a scary thought, as most of the men being sent off to war are actually younger than he (Ryan) is… And Ryan feels as though his life has just really got started. So, my thoughts went right to that conversation, and my heart sank a bit, thinking that although I know it’s not plausible, I’d really prefer that eventually wars be fought with relentless compromise rather and good faith, as opposed to disposing of generations of young men who are brave and amazing and full of a peaceful potential. (Don’t get me wrong. I support the troops. I am proud to be American and I know that these men and women are brave enough to lay their lives on the line for me to enjoy my freedoms, like this opinion, and for that I am very thankful. I am just hopeful, I suppose, that one day we can learn to live without violence.)
Obviously, Jake’s request was not hoping to stomp off to war, but really to emulate one of his favorite video games, as well as to be dressed up as a proud, brave man would be. I could appreciate that. In fact, I do remember having a crush on a boy in kindergarten that I used to call “G.I. Joe boy” because he wore camo pants, and I thought for sure he’d grow up to be a solider. (I was wrong, but he’s on my facebook these days, and my, oh my, could I pick ’em. He’s still a cutie! And a great guy, to boot!) This idea got me back into the mind frame of how fun Halloween should be, and so I got to work thinking. I had found some dog tags that Jake had been given with his name on them, and put them aside. I made plans to hit up GoodWill and other fantastic thrift stores for costume ideas….
But before I could get too far, Jake had changed his mind. Instead, he wanted to be Brett Favre. Ugh. Imagine my pain now! My little boy, born in Saginaw, Michigan and raised to be a Lions fan was turning on me! AND, not only did he want to be Brett, he wanted very specifically to be Brett Favre wearing a GREEN BAY PACKERS jersey! Was he crazy? First of all, Brett is getting old. Second, frankly, I think he pronounces his last name incorrectly. (Pot calling the kettle black here I suppose, as I’m pretty sure my family mispronounces my maiden name.) Third, Brett is playing for Minnesota now, and I’m pretty sure he broke enough green and gold hearts that Jake would never get candy dressed as Brett.
I begged and pleaded with the boy. Be a Lion. Be Jason Hanson, because that number 4 is the best kicker in the league. (Um, my opinion here, no actual facts to back that up. Just seems he never misses…) Be Brett playing for any other team. Be any other Packer player! Be Aaron Rogers. That kid seems to have it together and I hope that he’ll have a promising career with Green Bay, just as Brett did. But, no…. Jake wasn’t into Aaron. So, I suggested maybe he be silly, like Al Harris, with dreads and all. No-go. I suggested Brett then, with a cane or a wheelchair and grey hair, to indicate his age, and Jake laughed… but never agreed.
Later, he asked his dad if he could go trick or treating with out a costume. He confided he wasn’t really interested in dressing up, he just wanted to get candy. (Sniff, sniff…sob) Ryan apparently told him that he did not actually have to dress up, but most people would not want to give him candy if he didn’t.
When he gets home today, I’ll probably tell him that I’ll buy him a bag of candy if he really feels he’s too big to dress up anymore, and he can be my official “sit on the porch and hand candy out to little kids” helper. I’ll also tell him if he has second thoughts, he can dress as anything he’d like to be, but he needs to make a decision quickly so we can find a costume. Meanwhile, I’ll just have to focus on dressing Benjamin, who is still filled with wonder and fancy and excited to be dressed up….
|Don’t cry, Brett. I was teasing. I do think you play with a lot of heart, and you are a fantastic QB. I’m glad Jake can recognize talent when he sees it…|