I was thinking today about Halloween when I was a child.
Then, I was thinking about the Halloween's with my kids.
Something struck me as odd, and worth pondering some more.
When I was a child, when I dressed up for Halloween, I wanted to be pretty and never, ever, scary or (gasp) funny. I, of course, I was the Princess, the gyspsy, the kitten, the fifties girl, the hippie, I Dream of Jeannie, or what ever...as long as I looked the requisite "pretty" and/or "cute".
There was no negotiating this desire. Not that my mother didn't try. One year she was given a beautiful handmade costume. It looked like a professional one, it was done so well. I was 5, and told I would be wearing it, much to my chagrin.
It was a clown. A white satin, big red polka dotted, big ruffled red and white collared, clown costume! I was not happy. Did I mention the matching hat? No, not happy at all.
I wore it and pouted all day. I was definitely channeling old Emmett Kelly and the whole sad clown thing. It didn't stop my mom from taking pictures though; we have the whole fiasco preserved for generations to come.
My mom didn't force me to be "funny" or "scary" after that fateful year. She did ask and try to cajole me each year to deviate from the "pretty" and "cute" thing, but I was not to be convinced; "pretty" was the thing for me.
In fact, even as a teen and adult, I have stayed with the "pretty" or "cute" theme, as a Southern Belle, a toddler in pink feetie jammies, a french maid, a prisoner (my hair & face were done up pretty!) a hooker and a doctor!
I have been teased about it for years, by family and friends. I have no idea what it says about my psyche, but I justdon't like things on my face or head, and I don't like scary costumes! I like to believe it is that simple, although I am sure that a therapist would have field day. C'est la vie!
Fast forward to having my own little girl. I am thinking this is great! Just LOOK at those costumes in the Disney catalog! I couldn't be the "perfect" Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty, to those who don't know), but my daughter can look like she stepped out of the movie! YES!
The toddler years were the usual fluffy cute costumes and then finally, at age four, Pumpkin Muffin asked to be a princess. Be still my heart!!! She wanted to be a "pink" Princess Aurora, and although the blue was my favorite, I was ecstatic. I couldn't wait until the next year, thinking the road to "pretty" had just begun.
AND, just look at all the Princesses there are to choose from now!!!
Nope. It was not to be. At age 5, Pumpkin wanted to be a witch. I cajoled, she insisted. Okay, fine, I am not my mother (stop snickering all of you), I will not force her. At the costume store there were only "pretty" and "cute" witch costumes for her age so I was fairly happy.
As we get the costume and turn to walk to the front to pay, Pumpkin spots something, and runs over to a rack off to the side. A second later, she turns around and has pulled over her face a green rubber mask witches face, wart and all, with wild black and gray hair!
She screams, "This is perfect! Just like the evil witch with the apple in Snow White! I want it!"
Hubby says, "Yeah, sure!" The boys scream with delight that their sister will be so cool looking. I want to drop dead on the spot.
I know what this means. Payback is a bitch.
Age 6 - Wonder Woman. Okay, not scary, kinda "cute", but she would put on this fierce serious look and face off with the bullets every two seconds with her bracelets. She was very into the "kick bad guy butt" Super Hero part of the fantasy.
Age 7 - A cat. Again, kind of cute, but Pumpkin did take it to extremes that I never would do. I would wear the ears and collar and tail, but wouldn't do my face with all the black stuff. She did. The nose, and the whiskers. We had to keep re-applying the make-up all day.
And now, this year, Age 8 - Female Vampire.
Pumpkin wants blood dripping from her fangs and all over her face. Joy.
What did I ever do to deserve this? I know, I know, I shouldn't have pouted all day in the damn clown costume. This is karma, what goes around comes around, right? UGH.
And, when we discussed possibly going to Disney again, Pumpkin told us during the same weekend that we bought the vampire costume, - and I quote - "Oh pu-lease, I would rather cruise, I am sooooo over those princesses!" Emphasis hers, not mine.
There will be no 'perfect-blue-Princess Aurora-gown-costume-like-she-just-stepped-out-of-the-movie-from-the-Disney Catalog' for my daughter or me.
However, I am sure that my mother is thrilled, and is enjoying all of this from the sidelines as the all too happy-to-encourage-her Grandma. <sigh> The scary truth is that she needed no encouragement.
So, what's the moral of these stories, one from many years past, and the others from not so long ago, and the present?
I don't know, but I'll take a stab at it anyhow. (Halloween humor, I know, don't quit my day job)
I am happy that my daughter is so much like my mother, though. It is actually pretty funny and nice. I don't know what that will mean for us during the tumultuous teen years, but I do know, that once they are over with, I will have a great friend in my daughter, like I do in my mom.
I think it all indicates that my Pumpkin Muffin will be fearless and strong, like her grandma, and ready for action in the scary world that is ours today. I think she has some of my sensitivity and optimism though, just not as much, but overall, it will serve her well in the 21st Century.
Or I am just pondering way too much about Halloween costumes! LOL