A lot happened last year while making the costumes. My sewing machine broke, about 3/4 of the way through finishing the second costume. I borrowed a friend's, but couldn't get that to work either. And then my grandmother got sick, and passed away. It was all very quick, but those four days in the hospital seem like they were the longest on record. With family still in town, and snow on the ground (remember that--it snowed in October, and then not again until March!?!), I sent my husband to pick up my machine, which was blissfully fixed, so I could finish Mr. Lincoln's costume.
Here's how they turned out:
So, pretty much a year has passed. Sophia decided that she wanted to be Alice in Wonderland about 10 seconds after meeting her in Epcot this summer. I held her to it, mostly because she changes her mind on everything. After much soul-searching, Jake informed me that he wanted to be a Clone Trooper (like a Star Wars storm trooper, but from the new, crappier movies). This surprised me, as he does not watch Clone Wars, and is not really into Star Wars that much. He did correct me that he did watch Clone Wars once. I was kind of hoping he'd be the Mad Hatter (probably the Johnny Depp version, not the Ed Wynn one).
Respecting his choice, I looked for a pattern for the Clone Trooper, but could not find one. I figured it would really be easier just to buy one. I ran this by Jake, who insisted that it was fine. He still went shopping with Sophia and I to get her pattern and material. And he was fine with me not making his costume.
And this is where the mixed emotions come in. Because of last year, there is part of me that doesn't want to make the Halloween costumes at all. I just don't feel like it. It makes me sad. I even looked at buying Sophia's. This was similar to what I found at the local mall store:
Um, no. It's Alice, it shouldn't be sexy. Oh, yeah, and she's FIVE. Never mind, I can make it. But I hemmed and hawed, and procrastinated. And then I realized that it was already baseball post-season (I had lost interest a while back because the Red Sox were so colossally awful this year), and I needed to get working. But I didn't want to do it. The pattern and material just sat there.
But now, there's the part of me that is sad that Jake would rather have a store bought commercial costume that something I made for him. He'll look like all the other boys. On the other hand, he'll look like all the other boys, which is something we've strived for for him.
This is one of those things that should be simple, but it's not. There are too many things running through my head and my heart. I'm sad about the fact that my grandmother has been gone for almost a year. One of the last conversations I had with her was about finishing up the kids' costumes. I'm sad that my son doesn't want me to make his costume, because it means he's growing up. I'm sad that they dress little girls like trollops. I'm sad that I don't want to do this for my kids this year.
I buckled down, and got the costume done (which is a new world record for me in terms of being done early), mostly while the kids were on a play date on Sunday. Sophia was thrilled to see the progress, and I am very pleased with the outcome. The kids sat with me on their Columbus Day off, cutting fabric scraps and making different clothing items for the cats (I apologize to the cats). The kids were happy that I was sewing again, and even asked me to make them Christmas pajamas. That I can do.