She came up with the idea to be a scuba diver, all by herself. I thought it was one of the most brilliant, creative ideas ever (especially from the mind of a 3 year-old). And I expected her ideas to just get better and better with each coming year. But then, the very next day following Halloween of ’06, Halle told me she wanted to be The Little Mermaid. What?? Really??? I must confess that I was a bit disappointed in such a common, pick-one-up-at-walmart costume idea. Even though I didn’t respond with a flat out, ‘no!’ (because that would be HORRIBLE), I did try to change the topic of conversation. I thought maybe she would just forget about her wish if I quickly moved to another subject matter. But it was a fruitless tactic, because Halle never forgets things – that just doesn’t happen! She brought up her little mermaid wish several times every month. November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June… Come July, I took action. I started trying to alter her thinking about fun things to dress up as and to try to get some other creative juices flowing in that sweet little brain of hers. It would be a HORRIBLE thing to tell her how lame a little mermaid costume would be, I would never sink that low. But I did do something almost as evil as a I attempted to coax her into other possibilities, with suggestions I thought would be clever. I had grown accustomed to having a theme with the girls’ costumes and I was determined to keep that trend going.
Dee and Gracie experienced their first two Halloweens wearing outfits that partnered very well with Halle’s.
The first year, they were Litlle Bo Peep’s lost sheep
The second year, they were the scuba diver’s underwater friends.
In August, I had the thought that The Cat in the Hat partnered with Thing 1 and Thing 2 would be another ingenious plan. But this notion left me with a two-fold dilemma to wrestle with. One, it wasn’t Halle’s idea and two, it was denying her simple request to dress up as Aerial. And in September, after telling the umpteenth person Hallle wanted to be a mermaid, but ‘no’ I was not going to let her. I began to feel HORRIBLE! I had a sad glimpse of the future. If I wanted to control my 4 year old’s costume wishes, what would be next? Her favorite color, her most enjoyable play time activity, her preference of an ice-cream flavor, her college degree, the name of her first born… where would I stop??? I concluded it would be a HORRIBLE mom who does such things. And I realized that Halle wasn’t trying to be clever with her scuba diver costume, she was just sharing what would be fun for her. Now, to offer up a little forshadowing of this story’s happy ending, I quote Sebastian, the lobster from the little mermaid who spoke these lines to King Tritan, “It’s like I always say, your Majesty, “children have got to be free to lead their own lives.” You can know that the mom in this story was inspired, some, by this movie comment and was further motivated to find something not run-of-the-mill for Halle to play out her dream. And in turn, this mom turned out to be not-so-horrible : )
Meet this Halloween’s Little Mermaid and her sisters as Thing 1 and Thing 2 (at least I can still control Dee and Gracie’s costume ideas at least for another year…)