After a long quest in the stores to no avail, the boys settled on their Halloween costumes through the Internet this year. They arrived in the mail last week with much screaming and shouting and running around. Get ready to be shocked: Batman and Robin—again!
As a kid, I loved Halloween, but these two embrace costumes more than most. They role play everything: circuitous hunts for Joker, dramatic fights between Batman and Robin that would leave the avid fan perplexed, and high-speed chases in the Bat Car (our car in the driveway) all over Gotham City. They often ask why I don’t get a Catwoman outfit so I can play with them. (Miguel always asks, with a glimmer of hope in his eye, “Yeah, why don’t you get that outfit?”)
Because the boys turned five this year, I’m starting to wonder how much longer we have to live in this imaginary world we’ve created with just the four of us. They haven’t yet gone to a big school where the other kids’ ideas usurp their own, where the pull to fit in or be liked changes what they feel and think. But these moments are on the horizon.
I ran into someone at yoga, and she said how everyone asks her what’s her favorite age for her children. She always says “right now.” I’m so jealous of her answer. I’m always reaching back to the past, turning things over in my mind, and reliving things. I want to take a lesson from this woman. I want to breathe in all the sugary, sticky candy smell before that’s the only thing they think of for Halloween, and the holiday becomes about dressing up for one day just to get candy, not the year-long fun make believing they’re saving the world.
The boys often ask me, “But why are the villains bad?” And I usually answer they have a lot of problems and don’t make very good choices. The boys agree, “If they made good choices, they’d be good, right momma?” I nod, but I know that Joker, Riddler, and the rest can’t ever change—they’re trapped in a typecast that won’t let them earn a living any other way. Yet, the boys will change. They’ll eventually hang up their costumes.
So this Halloween, I’m going to be present and mindful, and maybe I’ll just have to get that Catwoman costume after all.
What costume are you wearing for Halloween?