Case in point: My son's Halloween costume.
In the beginning of September--which wasn't all that long ago, really--my awesome and yet somewhat fickle child wanted to go as Tinkerbell. Why Tinkerbell? Because he loves girls and Tinkerbell is one of the coolest girls ever. Now, I live in one of the most conservative cities in one of the most conservative states in the US, and while I have no problem at all with Jav wearing jewelry to school or painting his nails (both things that worried his teacher at the time; no joke), I had to draw the line at my five year-old dressing in drag for Halloween. I knew it wouldn't go over well to say the least, and I didn't want my son to suffer the questions and comments, and--to be perfectly honest--I didn't either. So I convinced him that he could be one of Tinkerbell's male fairy friends (she has a lot of them), so that people would admire his costume rather than wondering why a boy was dressed like a girl. He was cool with that so away we went.
This is what his costume ended up looking like:
Is that not nifty? You can't really see them, but I bought a bunch of play tools and covered them with duct tape to make them gray and brown then made holsters for them. I also sewed and duct taped the thrift store clothes I bought to fit him better and got the wings and the totally awesome steampunk goggles from eBay. I worked on and off on this thing for two months, and I was very, very proud of it.
And he hated it. Look at that face. Turned out that between the beginning of September and the end of October, he'd decided that he really wanted to go as a dragon.
I'll admit that my first response was to want to order him to wear the damn fairy costume because it was SO COOL and I'd worked so hard on it. But then I got over myself and remembered that this was about him, not about me, and did I really want him to remember his fourth Halloween as the one where he hated his costume?
So, with the block party looming in an hour, I made this:
Not exactly fine art. I covered a toy firefighter's hat with an old green bandana and attached it with duct tape. The eyes are the bottoms of plastic goblets covered with white muffin papers (Jav helped by drawing the eyeballs). The teeth are also from the goblets, covered with masking tape and then more muffin paper. The sweater is mine. I cut a bit off an old towel to make it look vaguely wing-like, and fastened it to the sweater using safety pins. It was finished just in time for the party.
While I'm proud of my ingenuity under pressure, I'll admit the costume kind of sucks. But Jav was so happy. (I know he's not smiling much in the picture, but I swear he was thrilled.) He was running around with his arms out pretending to fly, and he thanked me and gave me hugs about a zillion times. Seeing how overjoyed he was to get to wear what he really wanted was definitely worth never getting the admiration I'd been expecting for the fairy costume. And my husband's sympathy was very nice.
Jav told me that he wants to go as an alien for Halloween next year, with tentacles. I've already got some ideas, but I think I'll keep them on the back burner for awhile.