I’ve always loved the fall. Colorful leaves, the return of the cold and rain, the smell in the air...the emotions and memories are potent. I also love candy and playing tricks on people, so naturally, I love Halloween. My wife and I share fondness for this time of year, and we’ve shared this with Jacobi as well. Past Halloweens have been lackluster though. He was too little for Year One and Two, and he just didn’t understand the concept in Year Three (“One piece of candy? Awesome! Let’s go home and eat it!”)
Year Four, this was his magic number, the number where he gained enough awareness to realize how much fun this time of year could be. Jen and I have typically picked a costume for him in past years, but this year we asked him what he wanted to be. His answer was he wanted to be a kitty. He freaking loves kitties!
Jacobi’s choice of costume turned out to be harder to find than I imagined. I began looking online for cat costumes, but I found virtually nothing for a toddler, at least, not for a boy. Every costume I found came adorned with pink bows and flourishes or fringed in lacey black. The few boy costumes I came across looked dopey, and the kids wearing them looked disheveled and unhappy. What kind of message is this broadcasting?
In defeat, I took Jacobi to the Halloween Store. Hopefully, I’d have better luck there, and if not, at least there’s fun Halloween stuff to look at. We spent almost an hour at the store looking at all the tricks and costumes they had to offer, but again, no luck at all with a cat costume that wasn’t girl-centric. Towards the end of our visit, I pointed out a Spider-Man costume to Jacobi, and he blurted out, “I could be Spider-Man.” Ecstatic, I asked again to make sure he really wanted to go as one of my favorite comic characters, and Jacobi nodded. Perfect!
It didn’t work out. After getting home and trying on the costume, Jacobi wailed over and over that he really wanted to be a kitty. Jen took the costume back to the store, and I returned to scratching my head. A costume began to form in my mind. He had black sweat pants and a black fleece. I found a set of cat ears at the store (a pair that didn’t have a bow in it). Jen made a collar with a bell on it, a tail, and she sewed a white belly on his coat. On Halloween, I’d use an eyeliner pencil and some old make-up to draw whiskers and a pink nose.
I thought for sure it was going to be a disaster. We’ve all seen the crappy, thrown-together costumes, and it looked like this was how it was going to work this year. Once Jacobi was dressed and put together, he looked awesome (of course, maybe my Parent Goggles were on). Even better, Jacobi was super excited. He resisted the make-up at first, but once he saw himself in the mirror, he jumped around, flinging his tail and meowing.
I loaded him in the car and took my little Halloween kitty to Jen’s work where he could Trick-Or-Treat through the office before hitting the streets at dusk. He had a blast. He ran from house to house, calling after Jen and I to catch up. He was fearless in front of some of the spookier houses, and he probably would’ve kept going after covering an entire neighborhood, though bedtime approached.
I ignored the few remarks I heard about him being a boy and dressing up like a kitty. They weren’t anything malicious, but I still found them sad. Jacobi likes kitties, and barely understanding what it meant to dress up for Halloween, he knew he wanted to be a kitty. It doesn’t matter if he’s a boy or a girl, or a man or a woman for that matter. It’s Halloween. It’s a time to dress up, pretend, and have fun. I’m glad he had the chance to do just that.