Last night we got out the big box of various costume elements from the basement so that the boys could figure out what they were going to wear for Halloween. At their school the "Halloween Parade" is actually an All Saints' parade, so the children end up needing two costumes, as sadly none of them even consider for two seconds the idea of going trick or treating as St. Francis. Anastasia is set. The "St. Jane of Valois" costume she is wearing happily will double as a regular non-holy princess. (Or should I say that the non-holy princess costume can also double as a saintly princess costume?)
Among the boys there was some discontent that I was not planning on making a full-fledged visit to the Halloween store to purchase new costumes for all. Last year we did that, despite the fact that I insisted they spend their own money. I have the quaint belief that Halloween costumes should be creatively devised from items found around the home (an attitude that I apparently am not able to convincingly share).
This year I noticed that after I mentioned the words "your own money", they delved into the box. Sergei found a "scream" mask that would work, and a black robe; Zhen was thrilled (and I relieved) that Sergei's old Batman costume fits him perfectly. Maxim was happy with Aidan's old creepy hockey mask (from some horror movie I have never seen). But there was nothing much for Ilya. I had already had in the back of my mind that since this was his first Halloween, I might allow him a brand new costume. And this clinched it. So after supper we set out for Halloween USA and he promptly selected the skeleton costume. Of course immediately on arriving home, he tried it on. I was putting the school uniforms into the washer when I heard "Mam!" (His cute accented version of "Mom"). I turned and this is what I saw. Despite the full headgear provided by the costume, apparently Ilya did not feel fully dressed without his hat. I am immensely proud of myself that I never cracked a smile 'til he was out of my sight.