Monday, October 31, 2011

Me, My Son and his Cheap-Azz Costume

(post and snapshot, copyright 2011, Dawn Weber)

You're so splendid, in your ordinary costume.

You think so anyway. I guess you're supposed to be a Grim Reaper. Or a jawa. Or something. I don't know. This getup came from Walmart, of course it did.  I'm not paying any thirty-damn-dollars for the fancy, bloody costume you wanted at the "Halloween U.S.A." store. You'll only wear it twice.

Anyway, have you met me? Yeah. C'mon, son, we're going to Walmart.

"O.K., Mom," you said.

Things are always O.K. with you.

A few days later, I help you pull the thin fabric over your head, and gently place the Made In China light-up glasses over your brown eyes. I have doubts that said Made in China light-up glasses will survive the evening. I am right.

Of course I am. Have you met me? I'm always right.

And before the night ends, your Dad has to duct-tape the frames back together.

None of this concerns you. Pleased as pumpkins, you are, with this chintzy scrap of black polyester. I know this because I catch your smile, Little Reaper, when your Death Hood blows in the breeze.

"O.K. I'm all ready for the costume contest."

You're excited. I know you are, though you try not to show it much because you're practically a man now, being nine and all. You walk proudly and regally to the judging. Just the way a tiny Harbinger of Death should.

You're pretty sure you'll win.

Me? I'm not quite as certain. At the party, I look around and see scads of kids whose moms obviously either 1: shelled out thirty clams for "Halloween U.S.A." offerings or 2: made elaborate costumes for their children. Using actual sewing machines. The colors and effort put into these outfits sear my retinas, like a flashing neon sign.

A sign that says: "You suck, Mommy."

Still proud, still regal, you parade in front of the judges with the others, in a getup that was probably sewn by a little Nicaraguan girl in a sweat shop. Now I wish I'd spent the extra money, bought you the nicest, bloodiest costume "Halloween U.S.A." had to offer. Or at least busted out my dusty sewing machine.

Because you didn't win.

Walking back from the judging, we discuss it.

"Mom, do you think they let the younger kids win? You know, since they're little? Because my costume is pretty good," you say.

Right here, I am nearly pulled to my knees with the weight of my love for you, your kindness and your absolute confidence in your cheap-azz costume. Next year, Little Reaper, we shall go to "Halloween U.S.A." with a giant wad of thirty-damn-dollars in cash.

"Yeah, buddy, I'm sure that's it," I say.

"Aw. That's O.K.," you say.

Things are always O.K. with you.