In our family, Halloween is a pretty big deal. Mostly because its mommy's favorite holiday! I just love the lore and mystery of Halloween. I mean, come on, it's the one time of year most everyone believes in the magic a witch has. Or that there is a vampire lurking around the corner. Or the dead will raise to eat your flesh. Or the goblin will steal your children if they're not in disguise. We may not believe, but we indulge in the feeling Halloween brings. We tend to watch more scary movies. We gorge ourselves on that huge bucket of candy. And even adults love having a reason to be someone or something else for one night.
I love seeing all my nieces, nephews, friends' kids and all our kids' friends dressed up. There's nothing more fun then walking through your neighborhood and seeing the spider-mans, witches, princesses, scary monsters and even the occasional hot dog. And yes a hot dog; my son's friend was one last year, by far best costume! We spend a better part of a month looking online for that perfect costume for our kids. Some of us even make at least one outrageous costume. Mine was a bag of jelly beans! All my mom needed was a clear trash bag and balloons.
As our kids get older, the costumes seem to get weirder, scarier or more expensive. For the last two years, our eight-year-old daughter has been a witch and I was stuck carrying the hat and broom most of the night. So this year I put an end to that. Well, now she wants to be a rock star. Wait, let me clarify: She wants to be a cross between Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. My first thought was “OK!!!” But I can work with that. It's our 12-year-old son's costume that is causing me a moment of pause.
My pause is caused by the fact I don’t know if I should let him be Mr. Obama. I truly have no problems with the costume idea, but I know some will. I don’t want to deal with the hassle it could cause among people we know or even people in our neighborhood. Through my Facebook page, I have seen how some people are treating Obama -- or even Romney -- supporters. Example: A friend posted a note that was left on a car about an Obama bumper sticker. I have heard of vandalism of signs for both sides. I already know most of the people in our lives views regarding the election and where their support lies. And we are pretty cut down the middle.
So here's my dilemma...
Do I save face and make our son choose a different costume?
Or do I allow my son to be himself and go with what he wants?
We spend a lot of our time teaching our children to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. We are trying our hardest to raise children who are secure with who they are and to not be afraid of what others think or feel about them. We try to teach our children to respect the views and opinions of others, while holding true to what they believe. We also teach them to do what they want as long as it is within the laws we follow and doesn't put anyone or themselves in danger.
Am I going against everything that we are trying to instill in them?
Am I teaching our son to save face and avoid any conflict that might arise?
His father is all for it because it is what our son wants. He has always had a “I don’t care what you say or think attitude.” But I, on the other hand, have always been a people-pleaser. I try to avoid major conflict if I can, except with family. I don’t want our children to grow up and believe that you have to conform and avoid the disagreement when there may not be one to begin with.
Maybe I am making this bigger than it is, but I know in my heart that some people will have something to say about the mask. If not to our son, then to me or on Facebook. I really don’t want to defend or justify what he is wearing on Halloween. I know most people will think that he is doing this because I am an Obama supporter. But what people don’t know is he's into the election. We talk about it and he pays attention to what is said on commercials and the news. He even has discussions with friends at school about it. So I know that this is all his doing and has nothing to do with me. But some won't.
And before you ask, I'd have the same pause moment if he wanted a Romney mask.
So if you were in my shoes...
Would you take this time to teach your child about standing up for what they want and let them wear the mask? Or would you make them decide on another costume just to save face and avoid the unknown disagreement?
I really want hear what you have to say on the subject!
Photo Credit: mshades.
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