Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why I Will NOT Make My Kid's Halloween Costume

My mother made my fantastic '80s asymmetrical prom dress and several Halloween costumes.  And she didn’t do the unskilled crafter thing that I can do, as in going to Michael’s and trying to make something out of aluminum pans and glue.

She sewed.  On a MACHINE! 

The costumes she made were gorgeous. I couldn’t have been prouder in my mom’s creations, especially when the alternative was a glorified plastic tablecloth and a horror mask printed with some cartoon character. You forty somethings remember those? No thank you.

When I was about nine, my friend Barbara and I had a joint Halloween birthday party. Both of our birthdays were at the end of August, which meant everyone was out of town.  Our parents decided to postpone our birthday celebrations until Halloween so we wouldn’t feel like total losers.

Heyell no was I going as a bulbous koala or a raccoon.  I HAD to be a roller disco girl, rocking purple satin pants, a pink satin jacket with “Boogie” or something scrawled on the back with glitter paint, and white Capezio jazz shoes.  My mother sewed the entire thing. It was everything I’d hoped for and I felt HOT!

Positive I had the coolest costume in the room, I showed off a bit by doing a big Russian split – squatting down and then jumping up into a straddle split in the air. 

Higher and higher I rose until I got to the top of the jump, and snapped my legs wide open. I looked cool, and I had SKILLS, people!

Unfortunately, the satin was far too delicate to survive the force of a muscular girl launching herself into the air.  The seat of my pants burst open like a frankfurter in the microwave. 

My roller girl satin jeans were ruined.  My panties were on full display.  Barely ten minutes in.  The kids howled with laughter.  Not only did I want to go home, I wanted to die.  At my own party?  Really?

I spent the rest of the party with someone’s shirt wrapped around my waist, foreshadowing the days of wearing a butt shirt because I’d bled through my clothes like a stuck pig. 

Lesson:  Homemade sometimes means made to stay at home.  As in on a hanger.

Thirty-two years later that lesson was forgotten.   

You may recall how I resolved to be some combination of Martha Stewart/a martyr/an idiot by making my almost five-year-old son’s knight costume. 

Well, it turned out amazing!  Look:

My knight in shining armor.
You are blinded by my talent, I know...

Except my poor son could barely walk down the stairs, and couldn’t see for shit.  When we got to the party where the costume would debut I definitely got to feel like a rockstar with all the ooohs and aahs. (What do you MEAN you didn’t have me pegged for a crafter?!  I have many talents, don’t you know!!) 

But when my kid knelt down to eat his pizza down I winced, stifling my desire to yank him to his feet and feed him like an upright armored baby.  All I could think about was getting more wine to calm my nerves over my soon-to-be ruined handiwork.

Eventually, Mr. R took off the leg armor and walked around with just the breastplate, which had an awful lot of the white underside of the foil candy cups showing.  He looked a knight who had lost a battle with some poopy birds. 

It was ironic that Mr. R and I had wanted this outfit to be museum-worthy. A mom friend quipped, “Looks like you made him a suit of armor -- not necessarily a costume.”

For his school party on Thursday, and for actual trick-or-treating a friend took pity on us and offered to lend us a costume from her son’s dress-up arsenal.  We might wear a few elements of the costume I slaved over, like the helmet, but the rest of the getup was bound for its life in the closet.  

Note to Martha, kids like to DO things on Halloween.  Like MOVE.

Doing battle against Martha for her
 beautiful, yet unwearable, costume.

As for me, I’ve learned my lesson.  Halloween costumes should be bought and not made. 

At that's what I think this year.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mom in the Spotlight: Writer, Kathy Glow

You are a mom of all boys, correct?  How old is everyone?  
Slim is 10, Knox is 9, Lil’ C will be 7 soon, and Edgie is a “threenager.” LOL, he’s three going on 13.

The death of a child is every parent's worst nightmare. You write with rawness, strength, grace about living after the unimaginable tragedy of your son Joey, then 5, losing his battle to cancer in June 2010.  How do you find balance both in terms of grief within life, and everyday stresses?  How does writing figure into that balance?  

Writing definitely helps – it’s my free therapy. I’m not sure I am finding balance, to tell you the truth. I really struggle with depression and being inside my own head a lot. I just try to stay focused on my family and appreciating having them in my life. As much as they frustrate me, they do make me laugh. We have a great time talking about Joey, so that helps, too.

What does a newbie blogger need to know about what it takes to run even a moderately successful site? 
I think it’s important to decide what you will write about. I went through a very schizophrenic phase where I couldn’t find my voice. People want to know what they will find when they visit your blog. Sometimes surprises are nice, but not every time. Quality writing and a visually appealing site are a must, too.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Besides an author? 
I would love to be a professional organizer. I live by the old saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” It’s also possible that I’m a little addicted to the Houzz app.

What TV show past or present does your life most resemble?  Which one would you like it to?  
Hmmm, this is hard. Honestly now, probably a show where there is a lot of chaos, everyone fights a lot, and no one respects their elders – basically any show currently on Nickelodeon is us. I always fantasized about having a Brady Bunch family though – boys and girls and everyone gets along and is happy. And maybe sings, too. That would be cool.

I grew up in dance studios surrounded by girls, and didn't have boys as friends until college.  What's the secret to living in a house full of dudes? Check before you sit on the toilet, get used to fart jokes, and always have enough snacks. Snacks are key.

Statement that comes out of your mouth 76 times a day? 
“Will you guys knock it off?!!!!!” Followed closely by, “Who forgot to turn off the basement/bathroom/bedroom light?!” I guess those are more like questions – rhetorical ones in this house.

Someone gives you cash for a two-week dream vacation.  Where do you go, and more importantly, who gets to come with you? 
I go to the Greek Islands with Hubby. Did you know it’s sunny 350 days out of the year there?? Second would be a safari in Africa to which I take the whole family in honor of Joey. Joey loved the big cats.

A first-time reader comes to your site.  What do you want them to come away with? 
I want them to feel understood, wowed, and inspired. I want them to feel like someone gets what they are going through. And most importantly, I want them to be waiting anxiously for my next post.

Oh, we are, Kathy.  We are. . .

Kathy Glow is a freelance writer, blogger, and mother of five boys, including one lost to cancer. When she is not driving all over town in her mini-van, wiping “boy stuff” off the walls, or trying to find the bottom of the pile of laundry, she writes about what life is really like after all your dreams come true on her blog, Kissing the Frog. A 2013 BlogHer Voices of the Year Honoree, her writing has been featured on BlogHer, Huffington Post Parents, Scary Mommy, Mamalode, Her View from Home, Seleni.org, and Mamapedia. She is a contributing author to the anthologies I Just Want to Be Alone and Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother.

You can find her trying to be socially adequate on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...