Growing up, the only holiday better than Halloween was Christmas. What's not to love about dressing up and insisting strangers give you candy? Even better when the occasional stranger would toss in a trick as well. After all, what was better than filling your pillowcase with candy after filling your drawers with...well, you get the point.
However, as an adult and a parent, I find myself not loving this particular calendar day. Don't get me wrong, I'm not so much a miser that I can't enjoy the sight of a toddler stuffed into a ridiculous costume and waddling about holding a lollipop, nor does the sight of well-disguised pet annoy me. Quite the contrary. I even appreciate an artful costume, one so involved and realistic that it looks like it should win best costume design at the Academy Awards.
No, my beef is with my mother.
She set the bar high, that woman did. My first real memory of my baby sister was her as an infant Pocahontas. Complete with a little braided wig and a leather tunic. She wasn't even a year old.
Then there was the year that Raggedy Ann and Andy made their appearances. My brother and I won every costume contest there was. It was the adorable hooked yarn wig she made for us, that made it all worth it.
We also had the Tooth fairy, where I had gossamer wings so light and airy that I probably could have flown if only I tried.
None of that tinfoil crap for my mom.
No, when my brother wanted to go as Chewy from Star Wars, my mom went out, found herself a bigfoot, killed it, skinned it and made it into the damndest little Chewbacca costume you ever laid eyes on.
She set that bar so damn high, even an Olympic pole vaulter couldn't clear it.
Which makes my sorry attempts at costume design even sorrier.
So to the woman whose rib I elbowed at Costco last week, while trying to grab the last damn dragon costume they had, I sincerely apologize. I can't say I didn't mean it, or that I wouldn't do it again, but please, understand my desperation.
I have huge clown shoes to fill. With small, little elfin feet to go in them.
And my mother is watching. Shaking her head, and wondering where in the world she went wrong with me.