Have I taken Halloween too far?

November is over. Halloween gave way to National Novel Writing Month, and I completely forgot I had written this post. So here it is now. The rest of this post is written by Past Trevor of October 31-November 1, with a quick edit by Present Trevor. Future Trevor was unavailable at press time.. 


Peak Halloween looks like this post I made on Facebook:

9:28 PM, October 30th. I think that's the earliest I've ever finished Halloween costumes (upside down smiley face)

I love Halloween. I love making costumes. But boy, am I feeling Halloweened out this year.

It’s become something of a tradition that I take the kids’ Halloween costumes way too far. NJ is quietly supportive of my madness. She recognizes that it’s a hobby for me as well as a favourite holiday.

Here’s a brief history of this joyful sickness.

2018. Dizzy Tremaine, from Disney’s Descendants 2, and Artemis, DC’s Young Justice.

2017. Mal and Evie, Descendants. Both from scratch.

Mal and Evie from Disney's Descendants2016. Sabine Wren and Rey. Star Wars: Rebels and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Sabine was a huge overhaul of the year before. Rey was store-bought.

Sabine Wren and Rey2015. Jinafire Young, Monster High, and Sabine Wren (as she appeared in season 1 of Rebels, naturally). Jinafire was ordered. Sabine was from scratch.

Jinafire Young
Sabine Wren2014. Quorra and Quorra, Tron: Legacy. This one got some props.

Quorra x2

Quorra herself chimed in.

And then, Tron himself.

2013. Two store-bought costumes? What the heck happened in 2013? Princes Leia and Padmé Amidala, Star Wars. 

And the Halloween that started it all, 2012. Pink Batgirl and Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was purchased, but Pink Batgirl was custom.

So for the past six years (except for the Dark Ages of 2013), every October is all about Halloween. I have learned so much about making stuff every year. But the outside of the house isn’t decorated. We don’t have candy in the house the night before Halloween (we’re never in the house to hand out candy because the kids are trick-or-treating). And I have spent an incredible amount of time on these costumes in the past couple of weeks.

So I’m thinking back over the last six years to figure out where this sickness started. Looking at old photos. Searching for clues.

And then, at the very beginning, I found it. The reason why I do this every year. Look:

That face. 

Ohmigod, and those CHEEKS. She was so little. But let’s get back to that face.

Every single year, the kids make that face when the costume comes together. And from about August to October 31st, I live for that face.

Sometimes, like this year, it was when Sprints put on her Artemis costume for the first true fitting.

That moment when they embody their heroes and are just joyful and proud and totally self-assured. They are super. And this is the thing. They’re always super. I think I do a good job of helping them feel loved and safe and special. But I don’t get a ton of opportunities to help them feel that swell of utter power that these costumes seem to give them.

Still. It’s Halloween, and I’m tired.

This hasn’t been the easiest October. It’s certainly not an ideal October to significantly up my game – I learned to sew this year to make the Artemis costume. It’s all made from scratch with knit fabrics and vinyl, as well as lots of paint and some EVA foam. I made myself crazy the night before Halloween to make Dizzy’s headphones, despite the fact that I had decided I’d give myself an out and just… not.

But of course, here they are.

Similarly, I hadn’t really planned to fix the 3D printer for costumes. But I did. Because it was an easy way to bang out the wheels and axes for Artemis’ compound bow, and Dizzy’s brooch, which I printed in mini for the headphones. I also hadn’t planned to make a quiver for Artemis. But, again, the night before Halloween… there we were.

But it paid off, right?

This has been 600 words leading up to the simple fact of I don’t know. 

I don’t know if I’m going to keep doing these insane costumes year after year. I do love the way we all come together to learn stuff. Yes, I learned to sew for the costumes, but we all learned to sew in October. The girls made pillowcases and pillows and experimented with stitches and different techniques. NJ made a skirt. Sure, I printed pieces for the costumes. But I also got the 3D printer working again, which means I accomplished something I was planning for months, and now the kids and I have that tool to use again. And it’s been humming, printing things again.

I don’t know if I want to do another year of crazy costumes. But I do want the experience of us working together and learning together. I do want the satisfaction of accomplishment. And I do want that moment, that incomparable moment when the kids become, and we feel the way the project has connected us for the past several weeks.

I want that moment. But now, with the kids getting older, I think the challenge will be to start to let go a little, and to help them create that moment for themselves, with my help.

We shall see what next October brings.

As always, folks, paddle your own canoe.


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  1. […] There’s the whole participant-observer thing. But with Christmas hot on the heels of both Halloween and National Novel Writing Month, it also often feels like a sort of inconveniently-timed chore at […]

  2. […] really special for the kids, host my sister and her fiancé, keep ahead of stuff at work, move the kids’ Halloween costumes forward, and – in a stroke of pure madness – refinish the master bathroom as a surprise […]

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