I’ll never forget the time we took our kids to a trick-or-treating event at our local mall. Our entire family was dressed up as superheroes, but my husband stole the show in his full-on, head-to-toe Thanos costume. There were kids screaming and pointing as he walked by, “Look, Mom, it’s Thanos!”
The joy was uncanny. Other parents were smiling and pointing at him as well. Kids were asking to meet him. That evening we received a message from a parent who found out who he was and took the time to thank him for dressing up because he absolutely made their child’s Halloween.
So every Halloween, we dress up for the kids.
It might seem silly to spend the money on a costume or spend the time making a one, but the memories are priceless. Kids are little and full of imagination and absolutely go bananas over seeing their favorite characters come to life. It’s totally worth it. Sometimes we do family-themed costumes, couples costumes, we even go the extra mile and dress up for birthday parties as well because, why not?!
One year we all dressed up as the characters from Paw Patrol, and it was hysterical. I was Mayor Gooodway, My husband was Captain Turbot and when my brother walked in as Mr. Porter with oversized eyebrows, a mustache, and a bright green apron, the whole room erupted into laughter.
We dress up for the kids because they are only kids for a little while. We don’t mind looking ridiculous if it brings a smile to their faces. I know other families who do this as well, and it is so fun to see what kinds of ideas people come up with. Sometimes we even pick costumes that make other adults smile as well. Last October, we showed up at my parents’ house as Popeye and Olive Oyl. We all need to be taken back to our childhood sometimes. Amidst the stress and struggles of everyday parenting, we can all use a laugh.
We dress up for the kids because memories of their facial expressions when they see us will stay with us long after they are grown. I think so often our kids need to know that we can enter into their world of imaginative play and imaginary characters. I think so often our kids need to know that we are never too old or too busy to have fun with them.
One of our favorite parts of having kids is getting to join in the fun and be silly right along with them.
This year, the rumor in our household is that they really want to dress up as characters from Super Mario, which I think is really a great idea for kids and adults alike. I’m not sure what we will come up with, but the wheels are already turning. The weather is usually cold and rainy here, so we take them to a local trick-or-treating event instead of going door to door because they are so young and get too cold too fast.
I hope that once again we will be able to spread some joy to our family, friends, and strangers. I hope people will see our photos and be inspired to do the same. I hope people will point and smile and remember what it was like to be a kid and pretend to be their favorite character or animal or whatever it was that their parents could afford or make at the time. Some of the best costumes I’ve seen were handmade from painted cardboard boxes. The sky’s the limit!
Of course, there will inevitably come a day that it won’t be cool for Mom and Dad to dress up with them. They will eventually want to do their own things. Our hearts will break a little bit when they no longer come up with ideas for family-themed costumes and come running to us in excitement, and so for now…We dress up for the kids.
This piece originally appeared at FaithFamilyFreelance.com, published with permission.