When our son, Randy, was in kindergarten, he told Rita he wanted to be Superman for Halloween. How could she say no to that? Early in October, the two of them went to the sewing store to buy blue, red, and yellow fabric and the Butterick sewing pattern featuring the official Superman logo trademarked by DC Comics.
(Mom, if you’ve ever felt creative passion while sitting at a sewing machine, you see where this is going. If you haven’t, don’t feel bad. Sewing costumes is an acquired skill that is less and less common. In any case, keep reading because it all turns out super.)
Butterick superhero packets notoriously offer patterns for kids and adults in the same packet. Rita was inspired and Randy was excited to be in on the secret. Without any forewarning, sneaky Rita bought enough fabric to make two costumes. One for Randy. One for me. Which she presented to me on the morning of October 31.
What motivated Rita to undertake such an audacious project? First, she had the requisite skill. Second, she knew I would go along with it, although I don’t think I had any real choice. Third, she saw a chance to make a memory. Plus, she knew my muscular physique would fill out the costume nicely. (Not.)
Another factor was our ongoing attempts to take back Halloween from the dark forces that gain a foothold in our culture every fall. Generating an entertaining connection between a father and son seemed like a good chance to tick off Satan right in the middle of his favorite holiday. Surely he was not happy about Super Jay and Super Randy trick-or-treating through the neighborhood and delighting our neighbors.
So, what’s really the point of this blogpost? If you’re a seamstress, feel free to steal this specific idea. But the principle applies far beyond sewing and Halloween. Mom, whatever events and activities have special meaning for your kids, consider how they may also be connecting points with their father.
Examples? If your daughter holds backyard teddy bear tea parties, make sure there’s an extra chair at that tiny table and push your husband out the back door reminding him to lift his pinky while sipping his pretend tea.
If your thirteen-year-old is into video games, get your husband his own gamepad or controller for your son or daughter’s gaming system. If you’re really savvy, see if you can hook him up with cheat codes that grant invincibility, reveal Easter eggs, or open portals to secret levels. Anything that may give him a chance against your teenager.
If your son is fascinated by monster trucks, go online and order two tickets for that Monster Jam rally that comes to your local arena every year. Good news, Mom, you don’t have to go. But you may want to get a couple pairs of noise-cancelling headphones for your guys.
Mom, you know your children and their dad better than anyone. Ask yourself what you can do in the next few months that will make a memory for that crew you love so much. For sure, you’ll enjoy your own level of personal achievement because you made it happen.