As I was putting together Z's costume, I couldn't help thinking back to Halloween six years ago--the last time I put a lot of effort into costumes, or perhaps the last time I had fun costumes to work on.
E insisted he wanted to be a butterfly. A friend of mine brought me a fairy costume--complete with pink tutu, gauze wings, and a magic wand--from a thrift sale she had been to, but I had something else in mind, and made big, felt monarch winds, instead.
Z planned on being something else--I can't remember what--but at the last minute, he decided to be a butterfly, too. When I went back to the fabric store with the wool felt (a tiny, one-woman place), it was closed while the owner was away. So I pieced together the scraps into a black swallowtail, staying up past midnight October 30, and spending all day Halloween sick on the couch with the flu.
Meanwhile, M was still in his money phase, so I made him a bow tie and handkerchief out of coin-printed fabric, and we glued play money to the inside of his goody bag, and, with a hand-me-down double-breasted jacket, he was transformed into a millionaire.
That year was the birth of our hayride trick-or-treat tradition--I couldn't face trading carseats for wings for carseats at every stop along our circuit.
Our butterfly wings are long gone--borrowed and never returned--the jacket is long outgrown (and possibly never again worn) by everyone.
We still take the hayride on Halloween, and we still visit the chainsaw massacre yard. We still manage to come home with gallons of candy, after visiting only a dozen or so homes. We've moved into more sophisticated costumes (Z's Legolas) or more traditional Halloween costumes (E will be a skeleton). That's fun, too, but I can't say I don't miss those adorable little butterflies and the swanky millionaire.