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Halloween doesn’t do much for me as a grown-up. Sure, I was a big fan of trick-or-treating as a kid—who isn’t? But once I was able to buy my own candy, I left the holiday behind. I’ve been to a handful of costume parties as a working adult (often with the bare minimum of cat ears and painted whiskers), but I could never muster up the same excitement of being a kid with a plastic pumpkin-shaped bucket of candy in hand.
My son has never gone trick-or-treating, but on a recent weekend trip to Target, I took him down the costume aisle to see if anything would catch his eye. I slipped a rocket costume over my son’s head. He wanted it off immediately. I picked a lion costume off the rack. No go. And, then he saw it: Spider-Man. I have no idea how my son knows who Spider-Man is, but when he sees him (or any superhero), he calls them by name. I’m told that this is what kids pick up at preschool, but even before he started going to school with kids who were old enough to know who Captain America is (and could actually express it verbally), he would point to any caped individual and say “Superman.” In fact, he often uses his after-bath hooded towel as a cape and, arms extended, says “I flying, Mama.”
So, Spider-Man it is. By the time we reached the exit doors of Target, my son had the mask over his head and eyes. And the minute we got home, he put on the full costume. He then promptly went to the bathroom to check himself out in the mirror. (On a side note, the costume has fake inflated muscles, which my son pointed to and said “Boobies,” so it seems he doesn’t quite have all the superhero criteria worked out.)
The costume has already been worn to a preschool Halloween festival, will be worn this weekend for a pumpkin carving party and then (finally!) on Halloween for his first time trick-or-treating. Watching my son enjoy his Spider-Man costume has me looking forward to Halloween this year. As a working mom, I’ve missed a few of my son’s “firsts,” so getting to be there for this one is pretty cool. I might even break out my cat ears.