We have been collecting ideas and accessories for Halloween costumes for weeks now. And laying them out in piles for each child on the Deacon's Bench.
But ready for Halloween, we were not. And I have to admit, getting behind this candy centered holiday is a bit difficult for me.
But this year, I became more of a believer. The kids and I put a solid and only slightly frantic afternoon of costume creating in. Just one grown up and three children in need of a good deal of last minute help made for a busy afternoon. But the kids, knowing this, all helped each other with ideas and getting ready. Laughing, offering suggestions, attempting to convince someone that a wig feeling a bit yicky was well worth it for the visual effect (to no avail unfortunately, because it really was an awesome flower child wig). And also, in the end, the fabulous bandana thrift store dress and peace sunglasses were abandoned as well. And with some help from the internet (don't, by the way, allow your daughter to google hippie costumes without a bit of supervision) and a lot of time digging through the the dress up bin and pulling from the scrap fabric basket, we had ourselves some pretty fun costumes.
Yup. That's Elliott in his footie pajamas on the left. And Julia, on the right. About to discover the genre of hippies that might lean toward risque.
It was the kind of afternoon when I suddenly found myself drawing a six pack with orange chalk on to my 13 year old's felt tunic. To make the whole Spartan thing seem more authentic.
I included nipples. Because it amused me. And him. Nicholas felt I had made him appear a bit saggy. Ah well. We draw what we know. The cape took care of this problem for him.
Next up? Rainbow striped overalls. Of course.
Spartans are a very helpful dressers.
Julia ended up wearing none of the things that we had collected prior to the day, and went with her typical understated costume style. Nothing pokey, pulley, itchy, or in any way uncomfortable. And sensible shoes, so she could run and keep up with friends when out in the hood. Jonathan got home just in time to try braiding Julia's actual hair...which didn't really work out between them and I jumped in while he put out the candy bowl.
And kept adding just a bit more, as the afternoon progressed.
In the end, one Spartan, one Flower Child who looked a good deal like her real life self, and one excitable clown had a very lovely time trick or treating with friends. Meanwhile, their parents, Man in Weird Goblin Mask with disturbing hair and Lily with her Purple Plastic Purse enjoyed walking them from house to house with friends.
And what I learned is that actually hippies, clowns and even Spartans have more in common costume-wise than I would have guessed. I guess we were just building cultural understanding. One rainbow stripe at a time.