Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Halloween to Remember

I have the good fortune to have settled within walking distance of a dear college classmate of mine -- someone I met the first week freshman year. We went on to bear girl-babies within 5 months of one another, and they too have become fast friends. Every year since Halloween 2002, including this one, Rose and her neighbor-friend Elizabeth have trick-or-treated together.

At the end of the evening on Sunday, I wound up at their house while Rose and Elizabeth sorted through and traded their obscene hauls of candy. JoyDad & Joy had called it a night earlier, but I was able to hang out for a bit and join the entertainment of looking at past years' Halloween photos on the computer.

How young we all were, back in 2002 when a one-year-old Elizabeth-lion with an orange pacifier visited a few houses with a white-bunny-rabbit Rose! In 2003 I created my first homemade kiddie-Halloween costume for Rose, discovering the versatility of solid-color sweats and sticky-back felt. (My mother never did make a homemade costume for me -- multi-talented though she was, crafty-ness was not among her many virtues). Despite the preggo-nausea that went along with gestating Joy, I managed a rather delightful ladybug outfit for Rose.

Then came Joy. For Halloween 2004, at the age of 5 months, she wore a fuzzy bumble-bee outfit that I'd snagged at a thrift shop.

I created a homemade bee costume for rose, and got a sweet, sweet photo of the two sister-bees on Elizabeth's sofa. We didn't know it at the time, but that was the only good sister-photo we'd have to look back on when we flipped through the old photos this year.

Not in 2005, when Joy wore Rose's old bunny costume and Rose went as a homemade carrot.

Not in 2006, when Rose talked me into costuming them as hula dancers like Molly in the American Girl books -- and then Halloween night was downright wintry!

Not in 2007, when they'd just been flower girls in their aunt & uncle's wedding, so we re-used the dresses, but Joy was sick that night and couldn't even go out.

Not in 2008, when Rose dressed as Lucy the Diamond Fairy and Joy was her diamond.

Not last year, when they went as black-n-white Dutch bunnies. I made them both fleece bunny-hats and taught Rose to make homemade pompoms for the tails. Joy protested the whole costuming & trick-or-treat affair that year. So disheartening, I didn't even feel like re-hashing it on the blog. We didn't get a single photo of either girl that year.

And then came Halloween 2010.

I had very strict requirements for Joy's outfit this year. Nothing on her head. Nothing dangly & stimmy. No boxes, no wings. Meanwhile, Rose decided early on that she wanted to be a pirate. Arrrr.

Here's what we wound up with: a pirate wench (boughten costume) and her hook.

Didja see that? They're standing together. Joy is smiling! We got THREE good shots of the sisterly duo, plus another shot of the whole costumed trick-or-treating crew (4 girls + 2 costumed parents). Joy cooperated happily with the whole photo shoot.

We were still a little nervous about the trick-or-treating, and had planned that carefully too in the wake of last year's debacle. Only a few next-door neighbors were on the agenda if that was all Joy could handle, and then the older girls would continue on. But Joy walked nicely, stayed upright (i.e. very little stimming in dirt & leaves), stood with Mama on the steps, squealed & jumped when the treats went into the bucket. We went all the way up and down our street with her, and probably could have gone more.

It is so nice to have a photogenic Halloween for once, amid all the school struggles and health struggles this fall.

Ahoy, onward to Thanksgiving, me hearties!


Professor Mother said...

Look at that! I LOVE the "togetherness" of the costumes! As one of those non-crafty (and not-liking-Halloween)moms, I admire moms who can make things like this. It may have taken 5 years- but she got there! Enjoy and revel and start planning next year's extravaganza! That's what I love about autism moms- we are the masters of delayed gratification... :)

Anonymous said...

Fab-U-lous! Enjoyed that heartily, Matey!


Big Daddy Autism said...

Yay for a successful Halloween! It can be a brutal holiday.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

What a treat indeed! Glad all went well!

Anonymous said...

hooooray!!! and LOVE the costumes! too cute!

Floortime Lite Mama said...

I love love love it
happy halooween

Niksmom said...

Adorable! And very clever! I'll have to remember this for next year; Nik HATES costumes but loves sweats!