Before I start telling you about the tortures of growing up with a mom who would like to be Martha Stewart, but seriously has no arts and crafts skills, let me apologize for being MIA. I have missed you. These past two weeks have been insanely busy as I get ready to end one chapter in my life and start another. And just know that I have two more weeks to go and my blogging may just continue to be sparse. But for season!
Now, on to my mom. Bless her soul. She always means well. And she always has great intentions. But sometimes the execution is just a little off. But we'll come back. First, you must come to understand the house I grew up in.
Growing up there were a few things that my siblings and I were not allowed to participate in or watch. For example, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were from the devil. Seriously. I think it had to do with the violence and talking turtles and they may have used the word "damn" once. I do remember that once or twice, I was caught watching it with my dad while my mom went grocery shopping. My mom was not happy.
Along with the Turtles were the Care Bears whose magical powers placed them burning in Hell, as well as the Smurfs, and Captain Planet. We were a strict McGee and Me family. Although, ironically, Disney movies were watched quite often. I guess the fairies in Sleeping Beauty and the mermaids and talking crustaceans in The Little Mermaid were safe from the devil and his evilness. It probably had something to do with the singing. Either way, we were a sheltered family.
So you can only imagine Halloween. There was no such thing. Instead, we celebrated Fall Festival. Fall Festival just happened to occur on the same weekend as Halloween, but it was deemed okay since it took place at a Church with Church people. We still dressed up, played games, and asked Sunday School teachers for candy, but it was done without the evils of Halloween.
Before you go all crazy on me for comparing a Fall Festival to Halloween, let's just say I know that my mom's intentions came from a very good place. As do I know that Fall Festivals are good. They are a great alternative to trick-or-treating in an unsafe world. I don't judge. I just make observations.
Now, you should also know that I never went trick-or-treating. Instead, our neighbors would sneak us candy the day after with sad looks of "you're missing out on part of the joys of being a kid." But we didn't know the difference. All we knew, was that each October my mom would dress us up in horrific outfits and proudly strut us around the Church for everyone to see.
You should also know that we were allowed to wear these same costumes to school the Friday before our Fall Festival.
Oh, we were so fortunate.
You see, my mom thought she had a knack for creating unique costumes that were adorable. And she would even make them herself! Yes, we were lucky.
We were lucky in the fact that we all have turned out semi-normal. That we have not had major mental breakdowns. And that we survived elementary school in one piece.
My first memory of dressing up for Fall Festival is probably my mom's favorite costume. She countered the entire evils of Halloween with one creative sweep of her Martha wand.
I was a "Gift from God."
A couple of things need to be noted about this photo. First, I have to apologize to my brother. He experienced my mom's torturous ways as well, and all our Fall Festival pictures are together. Ryan, let us heal together.
Second, we never owned a cat nor have we ever been fond of cats. So I'm not really sure why the cat is in the picture. It seems that my family history becomes more and more mysterious.
Now, back to the costume.
Yes, I was a gift from God as a Fall Festival costume. You are now doing one of two things: Laughing out loud with me or thinking "how cute", "what a great idea", and planning on re-gifting (sorry... couldn't resist) the idea. Please be warned. This costume was horrid. First, notice that I am wearing a box... a very wide box. A box that I could not sit in, fit through doors while wearing, or take off because nothing was under the box. I was a captive in that box. Half the games at that year's festival were off limits to me because of that costume. I couldn't go to the bathroom, I couldn't run, all I could do was stand and smile and ask for candy from the Sunday School teachers. I should not have been smiling in that picture.
Then, there was my mom's idea of dressing me as a black-eyed pea. Please do not confuse this with the band. They didn't exist at the time and I'm sure my mom would have thought they were from the devil too. No, my mom wanted me to be the vegetable. We couldn't find a picture so you will have to imagine with me. I wore a black sweater with matching black sweat pants. My eye was painted black and I had a giant white "P" on my black sweater. A black-eyed P. Go ahead. Laugh. It was creative. However, in elementary school, kids are not creative. The entire day my classmates asked me why I dressed up as a prisoner. When I explained the costume (which if you have to explain it, it is an automatic FAIL), they shrugged their shoulders, laughed at me, and ran away. By 3 p.m., I quit explaining and just took the jokes about my mom dressing me up as a prisoner for Fall Festival.
I'm not really sure why I kept letting my mom choose my costumes. I'm sure I didn't really have a choice in the matter. I mean, my mom did think she was brilliant during that time of the year.
My most normal costume growing up came about only because my best friend, Sherri, wanted us to dress up together as Indians. My mom must have liked Sherri more than me, because she agreed and then made it herself. Like I mentioned above, my mom has no arts and craft skills. But she did like to pretend....
Again, I am so sorry, Ryan. I believe, the proof of my mom's "talent" is evident in both our costumes. I've never seen an Indian's outfit quite like the one my mom made me. But I'll give her credit for two things: the kids could figure out what I was and I could move around in this costume.
I also believe that shortly thereafter I gave up Fall Festival. The tortures of children laughing at you can only be stood for so long...
On a side note: Jeremy celebrated Halloween AND went trick-or-treating. Dressed like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle none the less.
No worries. He apologized to my mom. Then, she prayed over his soul. It's the Lord that has to forgive him and the evils of his past.