I think it’s time to return back to chronicling my favorite Halloween costumes for my boys. I believe I left off at Halloween, October 2007, when Ben was just 2 years old and Jake was already 4. This was by far my saddest Halloween to date. Somehow, Jake had decided that he would like to be his favorite character on Toy Story 2, Buzz Lightyear. Ben seemed too little and indecisive to chose his own costume as of yet, and so I suggested he should be sheriff Woody. He agreed, as he did with everything I suggested at that age.
Being that I was so inspired by the snowman and Santa Claus costumes of the year before, I was reluctant to go out and buy cheesy, poorly made store costumes. So, I set to work scouring the nearby Goodwills and thrift stores in search of things that would work for their costume. Amazingly, I had found a cute pair of cowboy boots, a red hanky, and a yellow button up shirt that worked perfectly for Ben’s Woody costume. After 300 or so trips to Goodwill, I decided to give in and purchase the perfect cowboy hat at the Halloween costume shop. (It really was perfect though, right down to the stitches.) I found the golden sheriff badges that the kids got for some occasion or another, and put that aside. Eventually, in talking to one of my neighbors, it turned out she happened to have a cow spotted vest for her son to play dress up with. My outfit for Ben was complete. I couldn’t be more excited.
Jake’s costume proved a lot more difficult. I had it in my head I was making this costume, come hell or high water. I made Ryan accompany me to the local hardware stores, to Target and to any other thrift shop I could think of, looking for supplies to at least fuel my ideas. I was pretty sure there had to be a way to construct a costume from PVC pipes and a fishbowl, but… I couldn’t quite figure it out. I pondered this idea a million times over.
Eventually, I reluctantly gave up my Mac Gyver like ideas for the Buzz Lightyear costume and accepted that I would have to buy a pre-made costume. Still, I refused to head to Target and buy the cheesy plastic one on the shelf. I set to work, again, at the local Goodwills. Luckily, I found a very nice quality plastic costume with many accessories. To my surprise, before and after Halloween, Jake and Ben had fun switching costumes and playing together in both. Clearly, the fact there was not an actual helmet to the costume was of no concern to Jake.
The night before Halloween came, Ryan and I had dressed up and went out for a night out ourselves. I had managed to drop (and break) the camera as we were trying to document our own clever costumes. I was devastated.
So, the day Halloween finally came, I dressed up my two little characters and headed out from home to home about my neighborhood. The kids looked cute, and they enjoyed their time. On many of our Goodwill trips, they had found other accessories, such as Slink the dog and Mr. Potato head, and they dragged those along trick-or-treating as well. As sad as I was that I had not created a masterpiece as I had the year before, I was happy that the boys were enjoying what they were wearing. I snapped a few pictures on my cellphone in the absence of any real camera, though I had no idea at that time how to get the single megapixel pics off of my camera and onto a computer.
Though technically, the kids had fun, and that was all that mattered, I was still really bummed that I hadn’t been able to do more to make Jake’s costume. Just when I thought it was not a complete loss, I dropped my cellphone into a puddle, losing the only pics I had managed to salvage from this usually favorite holiday of mine. In retrospect, this was probably a good thing. Though I love looking at pictures from holidays past, I have no images to remind of the things that I was disappointed in that year. I am left only with the memory that the kids absolutely loved playing games as their favorite superheros, Buzz and Woody. I guess you really can’t ask for more than that.