Friday, October 29, 2010

Hopes for Halloween

There's a part in one of Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up routines where he talks about Halloween and how, as a kid, you envision yourself AS that person. You will put on that costume and BECOME them and it will be awesome. (note: do yourself a favor and listen to his stuff - it's clean and hysterical. Invite me over and I'll bring snacks and we can listen and laugh together)

Here's a little confession: I believe the same thing FOR my kids. They decide what they want to be and I immediately picture the perfect get-up. As the big day approaches, however, we have to make compromises. Accessories are given up, outfits are redesigned, (my) confidence begins to wane.

On a regular day, I am mediocre at best with make-up. It is not one of my gifts. Maybe it's an art thing. Maybe it's a problem with not really caring or having the patience. Maybe it's a deep-rooted issue left over from high school where I feel like if I try too hard then it will actually look like I'm trying and then people will think, "Why is she even TRYING?" Well hello there insecurities! How lovely to see that you still exist. The point is, if I can't even have confidence in an eyeshadow swoop, why on earth do I think I can handle Halloween face make up?!

The great thing about Ainsleigh is that, like Gemma, putting something as minimal as lip gloss on is life-changing. So as I caked her face in white cream and created dark circles around her eyes and brushed on mascara and black lipstick, her pride grew tenfold. Add some pointy teeth and crazy hair and she IS the vampire she wanted to be. Never mind that she doesn't actually know what a vampire IS. And I, being among the last estrogen-laced Twilight hold-outs, try to distance myself as much as possible from the entire topic. Look, you can try to convince me there are "vegetarian" vampires but I'm not buying it. They historical myth is rooted in bloodlust. But whatever, Ainsleigh wanted to be a vampire princess, so I found a long crushed velvet dress at Goodwill for $2.50 and bought her a set of fangs.

Ainsleigh was giddy with her costume. I was giddy at the price. And Gemma was thoroughly confused by the teeth. At night she'll stick her fingers in her mouth and say, "Take my teeth out?" Not for another 80 years or so, little lady.

Donovan, on the other hand, has been a tougher critic. I thought his make-up would be easier. Months ago he said to me, "Mom, when I'm Indiana Jones for Halloween, can you make my face look like Daddy's when he hasn't shaved for a couple days?" Because that's what Indiana Jones looks like on the video game case. And I reassured him that I would.

Fast forward to this morning when I'm applying brown grease makeup to his jaw to mimic a 5 o'clock shadow. As I finished, having done what I thought was a surprisingly good job, I stepped back and told him he was ready. His face turned toward the mirror and the second his eyes beheld his face, I knew from the way his face sagged and his eyes began to get red that I had failed him.

"Mom," he quietly said, trying to keep his voice in check, "I do not look like Indiana Jones. I told you I wanted the dots."

So I tried to explain stubble and how my dots would look like freckles and how he really did look awesome and once he added his had and his pack and his whip he would look great, but his face was now devoid of the prior hope.

I don't have a problem with doing sub-par work if my kids don't care. But when I get an inkling that they think I have failed them, it's like someone stabbed me in the heart (wait, is that a vampire reference?). It kills me.

But let me talk about his pack for a second. I ordered if off of eBay, which is a wonderful resource, and it was coming from Israel. Like I couldn't find one equally cool but closer? No. No I couldn't. This one is fantastic. And the seller was wonderful and sent it out right away and even the many hoops I had to jump through at the post office in order to pick it up (apparently receiving something from Israel is a bit different than, say, Amazon) were totally worth it. And it looks way better than the flimsy costume-issue one the 4th grade kid was carrying around.

Anyway, after putting the whole costume together, Donovan felt a little bit better and walked happily with Gemma ("I a pin-cess!") and me over to the school for the parade. As we approached a group of parents standing by the parade route, one turned and gasped, "Oh LOOK at Indiana Jones!" And in that second, Donovan froze, turned just his head to me, and with no expression other than wide eyes and lips barely moving he uttered, "I love you, Mom."

I mouthed a big "THANK YOU" to that woman. She saved the day. Since then, he has been belting out the Indiana Jones theme song and galloping around. He has hugged me numerous times and assured me I'm the best mom ever. Halloween is saved.

Oh, and then there's Gemma. I'll have a story about her later. It's about going to a farm, her expanding vocabulary, and (her) urine-filled shoes. But today we're focusing on Halloween victories.

pictures to come...


laura said...

Donooooo! Glad it all worked out, and I can only imagine how excited he must have been when the lady said that. What a dude.

Also, I find vampire Ainsleigh to be hilarious for some reason. Like, she is such a dainty little wisp but after our experience at Medieval Times I know she has a streak of bloodlust, so it totally fits.

Can't wait to see pictures!

Alice said...

I vow to always be the house that gives out GIANT HANDFULS of candy. I always hated the lady who would skimp and give you just one tootsie roll. (unfortunately I bought the candy too early this year and it's diminishing fast.)

GWACK said...

Pictures! Can't wait to see 'em!