I like your costume


I love Halloween, I always have.  There’s something inside all of us that loves to play dress up, to pretend to be something entirely other than ourselves, if just for a night.  To let our inner avatars come to life.

I’ve dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow, a Geisha Girl, Little Red Riding Hood, Flo the Progressive Girl… and this is just as an adult.

Every year of my kid’s lives I’ve made their costumes by hand. Not to show off, but because it was a commitment I’d made before they were ever born.  I wanted to use my hands to help their creativity come to life and not just by swiping my card.

I’ve always known I’d be a homemade costume mama, it’s the reason I took sewing classes in my early twenties. It’s important for me to sew, crochet and hot glue their imaginations into reality.  

I think it’s just because I love the whimsy of Halloween, the one night where we all play dress up and pretend, where imagination wins all.

I get giddy over opening my door for Trick or Treaters, to see their visions come alive and to smile at the parents standing proudly behind their little lions, ghosts and minions.

We all roll our eyes at the “too old” trick or treaters. The high school kids who shoulder their way through the little ones to get their hands on our bowls full of Snickers and Reeses.

Because, I think at some point we’re supposed to be done with trick or treating, and rightfully so.  It’s a place for the littles to play.

Yet, I don’t think any of us should ever give up the whimsy of Halloween, the belief that we can put on a hat and fulfill our wildest dreams.

We should dream big, fulfill our inner passions, finally become the firefighters and veterinarians we always thought we would be.

But the dreaming of dress up has to live side by side with a love of the sweet right here, the seemingly ordinary right now.

If little “trick or treat” you rang your doorbell this Thursday, do you think they’d be disappointed in who you’ve become?

Do you think they’d be sad that you’re not a professional wrester or stunt rider?

I bet they wouldn’t.

I don’t think we’re letting ourselves down as much as we think we are.

I know you feel like you haven’t arrived yet, like you’ll be better when you achieve this or that. 

But please don’t buy into that lie, because you’re beautiful today.  In the costume you have on right now.

For me, my dream costume is that of “published author” as it is with so many writers, I’ll finally be okay when I publish a book, that’s the magic moment when I’ll feel like my writer costume isn’t a joke.

But you know what?  I think if 6 year old me came to our door on Thursday night she’d see our comfy home complete with a cat, two kids and an awesome playroom and be thrilled.

If teenage me peeked in our window and saw the romance in our marriage to a good, good man she’d breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that it all works out in the end even if she IS 16 and never been kissed.

In the end, when you look down at the costume you wear in daily life, even if it’s not the end all be all fulfillment of your deepest passions, it’s still a pretty good gig.

I’m not saying don’t dream big, I’m saying that you’re already somewhere worth celebrating, so grab a snickers (or if you have supremely good taste, an Almond Joy) and celebrate the costume you get to wear every day.

Because it’s lovely in it’s here-ness.  So is mine, go us.

What did little you want to be “when you grow up?” OR What is your Halloween Candy Kryptonite (what can’t you leave alone?)

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  • http://felicemifa.wordpress.com/ Margaret_at_FeliceMiFa

    All I wanted to be “when I grow up” was mature and self-aware – I didn’t want to be one of those adults that other people rolled their eyes at for their lack of perception and juvenile behavior. I still have a long way to go but with every lesson learned I feel like I’m closer. Happy Halloween!

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Self awareness is a great goal! I think once I hit my 30s I really found the need to know myself and my strengths / weakness…

  • http://simply-rea.blogspot.com Rea

    I love this. My dream was always to be a writer (I can still remember the first ‘book’ I wrote in 3rd grade) and on the days when I’m scared that will never come to pass, that it was all a silly childish dream, it’s good to remember that where I am right now IS worth celebrating.

    (Also, I’ll take a Twix bar.)

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Amen it is! 3rd grade you would be proud. I have a black cauldron of twix in my pantry for you. Stop on over!

  • Jane Brown

    You have nailed it, yet again. This brought tears to my eyes. It’s amazing how many times you have the right words at the right time. It’s difficult when we think we haven’t met/ don’t meet the expectations we have placed on ourselves, but humbling and encouraging to know that we are who we are for a reason.

    Halloween candy in general is kryptonite to me. Is it wrong that I justify it by saying I’m a good mom for eating my kids’ candy, so they aren’t eating too many sweets?

  • http://www.addingaburden.com/ Jill – addingaburden.com

    Great post! I always wanted just to be a grown up- 30 years old was my number- and not have to do any more of that crap teenagers have to do like lazer tag or pop quizzes or care about high school sports and top 40 music. Now that I’m 27 I am feeling like FINALLY my age matches the way I feel inside. Once I turn 31 however… it might be all downhill for me. I think I set my apex too early. 😉

    My favorite candy is chocolate everything. I also love those peanut butter or molasses chewy things in the orange and black wrappers that everyone else seems to hate. HFCS dream.