I nearly missed the first day of NaBloPoMo, and that is something I cannot do. I have particiapted every year I have had my blog, and I’m not about to break with tradition. Perhaps having two months of daily blogging so close to one another will lead to better habits. Perhaps I’m dreaming.
But enough with that. There’s a whole month to talk about that. Today is the day after Halloween, and this was the first year BG really got to participate (last year he was sick, the year before he was teeny tiny), so it was a big deal. He loved it all. The pumpkin patches, the pumpkins, the decorations on the houses and the stores, the costumes. I have long adored Halloween, so this has delighted me to no end.
Our boy wanted to be a kitty cat for Halloween. This was born from a book he has–a Karen Katz book in which a baby, dressed like a black cat, is looking for her “Special Pumpkin.” BG read this book every day for the last month, recited pages from it daily, and whenever we asked him about wearing a costume for Halloween, he stated quite firmly, “Dress up like kitty cat.”
The problem was that it isn’t easy to find kitty cat costume elements that aren’t covered in pink and bows and other decidedly feminite features. While I don’t have issues with these accessories, they aren’t necessary. When a child wants to be a cat, the child isn’t looking for lace and bows, right? While I’m a crafty person, I just didn’t have it in me to make a costume–or even ears–I was determined to find something. I went to one of those Halloween stores only to learn that boys are supposed to be characters from cartoons, and they must carry weapons–or they have to be dinosaurs. The girls get the “cute” animals.
When I voiced these complaints, an acquaintance suggested I dress him up like a lion because lion costumes were readily available at a nearby store. I certainly considered this, but BG wanted to be a kitty cat, not a lion. He knows very well they aren’t the same thing. And why should he have to be a lion?
One of the last places I looked was our local market. They had black cat ears and tails (which were all I really wanted), but the ears and tails each had pink bows on them. They had tiger ears and tails, and when I held the two up, my son wanted the cat ears. I found a set of donkey ears and tails, and for a moment, he reconsidered (he has met donkeys, loves donkeys), but he thought better of it. In his mind, one dresses like a kitty cat for Halloween, and so we went with the set with pink bows (which I would later remove).
When we took these to the register, the man working there asked if the ears and tail were for our son. I told him they were, but quickly threw in that we were removing the bows. “He doesn’t care at this age, so long as he gets to be a kitty!” was his reply. He told us about his son loving pink when he was a young child. He encouraged us to enjoy this time when colors are colors and costumes are costumes, and I wanted to hug him. We had asked our son over and over if he really wanted to be a kitty, and he was certain, but we kept hedging thinking maybe he was going to look too feminine. Of course, beneath this is that unspoken concern that because we’re two women raising a son, people will perceive that we’re feminizing him.
But all of that is bullshit.
We have a male cat and a female cat. Cats are not all female. And even if they were, even if my kid wanted to be a freakin’ princess, I shouldn’t care. It’s Halloween, and he’s his own person, and I’m so proud of him.
And for the record, my boy made a damn cute kitty cat:
As for Halloween, it was a hit all around. The grandparents visited Saturday, and we took BG to a celebration at one of the city parks where the kids got to ride the train and trick or treat from stations around the park. It was here that BG had his first mini candy bar (a Twix, if you must know).
He enjoyed every last bite of his “treat” (which is what he seems to call candy) and begged for more. My mom had brought other “treats” in her purse, including a small juice box and some raisins, so she encouraged him to trick or treat from her bag from time to time. It was such a good idea, and he loved the special prizes.
When we all came home yesterday, we got BG into his costume again, and J and I grabbed some hats, painted on some whiskers, and we went out into our neighborhood as a family of cats.
We hit up four houses or so–primarily neighbors who wanted to see BG dressed up. BG had mastered “Trick or Treat!” at the park, so he was a pro once he got to the neighbors. He was appropriately cute and meowed when asked. I think the highlight for him was ringing doorbells. The boy loves a doorbell. One neighbor had a full gift for him–a bag full of goodies including a coloring book, crayons, and more. And she insisted on photographing us. Here we are in all our goofy feline glory:
I have been unexpectedly emotional around all of this. I feel so very fortunate that I get to see the world through this boy’s eyes, that my wife and I get to introduce him to the fun that is living. What a joyful job we have as parents. Moments like these make this all the more poignant.