She was a chicken, and a very cute one at that. She could make chicken noises and flap her little stuffed feathers. Halloween is often Very Very Hot in Phoenix, unless your child is dressed as Jasmine or Ariel. Traditional Trick or Treating wasn't an option for us, as we lived on a Scary Street In Which Our Neighbor Got Shot. Add to that the infernal temperatures and a warm costume, and come October 31st we headed to the mall. It wasn't Everything I Imagined, but was still fun. She took her little bucket up to the Big Scary Candy Giver and said (as they all must) "twick oh tweet!"
The next year, Moira was soooo very into the Princess craze. I didn't even have to ask what she wanted to be, I only had to supply the money for this teeny costume:
Sparkly shoes and all. She wore this dress proudly, and as often as I would let her. All of a sudden, costumes were no longer just for Halloween. And the love of All Things Frosted and BeRibboned was born. She took to wearing them to bed, to the grocery store, and to church if allowed. I usually let her, because she looked cute and after all, I thought...isn't dress-up a short lived phase? We put small coat hooks all around her room, so she could change costumes at will. We no longer had to use spanking or time outs, as taking away a dress was so much more effective. Dress up, princesses, too-big shoes, floppy gloves...it was her life.
Pretty soon it was time to add another child into the dress-up mix. This time I was armed with more than eyeliner; I had a pumpkin.
We went to the pumkin farm about 17 times that year, just enjoying the families and the corn maze and the colors and that lovely rush and swoosh in your belly as you realize that it is almost time yet again to drink cider.
Moira wore this dress for each and every visit. It wasn't a princess dress, but it was certainly festive. All the right colors, little pictures of pumpkins and witches...there is obviously a small window of opportunity to wear this dress, and she darn near beat that window to pieces.
She taught Sabra all about the farm, how to pour dry corn into a bowl and feed the goats. She also passed along the wisdom and importance of wearing costumes. In just a few short months...
Sabra was visiting her Mickey Butthole friends (I SWEAR, she called them that...twas a very funny take on Mickey's Clubhouse)
She clapped her grubby little hands and delighted in the magic and splendor of it all.
So did Moira...
And then..as the months wore on, something very unexpected happened. She started wearing jeans. And skirts. Sundresses, t-shirts, shorts....but no princess dresses. There was far less ballet dancing, and much more sassy talk. She said that while she still liked princesses, she just wanted to explore some other areas of play. (And that might be verbatim. She is her father's child.) We sent some princess stuff to Kendall, and put others away for when she had friends over. The little coat hooks came down. I was a little sad, but not too much. After all, she still watched the movies and played pretend. She was just coming down from her Princess High.
We were able to go to Disneyland again, and Moira swore up and down that she didn't care about meeting the Princesses. But then the power came over her...
And pretty soon she had to have a dress...
And it was all so very real, and fun, and magical again.
But it didn't really last. She likes the dress, still has it. She wears it when other friends want to play dress-up. But now...the princesses have boyfriends. They go to dances. Not ballet dances. And I thought that this Belle dress would be perfect for Halloween. But Moira didn't feel that way. No, the days of collecting candy in candy colored cloth were over. She was ready to move on. So I got Sabra's Donald Duck costume, sadly fingering the sweet little princess dresses.
Moira is going to be Hannah Montana this year. It is a cute little get-up, sparkly and still pinkish. But it feels like we are being swept through a strange portal of time that is robbing us both of the Jolly Sweet Era Of Little Girls! I'm not ready for it, and I never thought I would be that way. I do celebrate the fact that she is older, she can read, she has to have 'space'. But at five years old, I'm not ready for her to say good-bye to Belle and Cinderella.
I'll help her get dressed, help her look Rock Star Cool. And we'll go collect candy from total strangers, hoping they haven't poisoned us with their crizazy snacks. But I already can't bear to think of next year. Will she be past the Hannah phase? What will be next? Will I be ready?
Is it ok if look at her ten years from now and still just see this?
Happy Halloween. I'm going to be dressed as a neurotic mother this year. Toss me a Snickers.