My favorite Halloween costume…ever


Happy Halloween! I’m excited about seeing the trick-or-treaters coming to my house this week. My neighborhood has a lot of little people, so it's quite the show and makes me think about my own children’s costumes from years past. 

My kids are older now, but today I found this picture of my son from 2007 (age-11). He's wearing one of my favorite costumes…ever. I realize it doesn't look like much, but I think the reason I love this one has more to do with the memories associated with it rather than the artistry of the outfit.

My then fifth grader's elementary school had a “vocabulary parade & costume competition” the week of Halloween. The parade was part of a school-wide assignment given at the end of September to the entire student body. Each child was assigned a different vocabulary word to depict in costume. My guy’s word was “scorch.” 

The assignment included the student deciding on a way to define the word in costume and making the costume (or most of it) himself. My son had a definite opinion about how "scorch" should be defined and designed. He made the dragon mask and the pipecleaner flames for his wrists and he picked out the wig in a funky costume shop in Austin a couple of weeks before the parade.

And the best part—he won first prize in the originality competition! I loved that, since he’d had the idea and made so much of the costume himself. Still, I assumed he would take "Scorch" off after the school parade and that would be the end of it. But he liked his costume so much that he decided he wanted to be "Scorch" on Halloween night as well. (He attended a fall festival that evening after the annual "candy gathering" and there was a petting zoo. That's how we ended up with a bunny picture on Halloween!)

A couple of weeks ago my now seventeen-year-old was cleaning out his room, getting rid of old papers and art projects from years gone by. (It's amazing how much paper high school students accumulate.) We were being fairly ruthless and tossing LOTS of stuff when he came across the "Scorch" mask hanging on the corner of a book shelf.  

"Are we keeping it or tossing it?" I asked. 

He stared at the faded construction paper a moment and shook his head with a smile, "Keeping it. That was the coolest costume ever."

I agree. Scorch was the coolest ever.


© Kay Thomas 2018