The lessons a Halloween costume taught me
From experience I can tell you that Jackie Kennedy Onasis is not the typical costume for a 5th grader. Then again, I’m don’t see myself as an ordinary girl. I’ve always had this desire to be my own person. That sense of being unique still holds today. As soon as something becomes trendy I want nothing to do with it.
When I fell in love with a peach 50’s dress at the thrift store, I knew there was no other option. This just had to be my halloween costume. I couldn’t just be a 1950’s girl, though, I needed someone from the 1950’s who evoked that glamour. The obvious choice—Jackie Kennedy Onasis.
Now, many moms would have tried to talk their daughter out of a costume that would most likely illicit ridicule. Not my mom. Oh, she warned me. She told me that many people—especially my classmates—wouldn’t know who Jackie O was and why I’d even want to be her. But, if I was set on being her, she would fully support me and she did. She procured the perfect gloves, pearls, and pillbox hat to make sure my vision of Jackie O came to life.
That old adage that “mom knows best” was right. None of my classmates knew who Jackie O was and I’m sure that more than one of them thought it was a strange choice. None of them actually bullied me or teased me straight out which I was thankful for. It wasn’t much better with adults. While they at least knew who Jackie O was, my blond hair didn’t automatically scream Jackie O and I left more than one of them guessing as to who I was.
By allowing me to dress as Jackie O my mom was teaching me some valuable lessons. Granted, I didn’t see them at the time.
- She taught me was that it’s ok to be unique. The world is going to be filled with lots of people wanting to fit in. Sometimes it’s better to stand out and embrace those things that make you you. Whether it’s a love of vintage clothes, or cosplay, or sports or anime or whatever. Be you!
- She taught me to have confidence in my choices and that confidence will get me far. I could have switched after the school parade and before trick-or-treating with friends. I didn’t because I was confident with my choice. That dress made me feel like a million bucks and that made me feel confident.
- She taught me to have faith in my decision and my abilities and choices. She knew there were going to be times when I’d question decisions I made and I did. During those moments, knowing my mom had faith in me and the decisions I made allowed me to have faith in my decisions too.
- She taught me to have thick skin. There will always be people who don’t like what you’re doing and will try to pull you down because they don’t want you to succeed. The only way to follow my dreams was not to let those people effect you. This made junior high A LOT easier. Not perfect, but, I could handle most of what was thrown at me.
As an adult, I am so grateful for the lessons she taught me that Halloween. One day, I hope to pass along my mother’s wisdom and these life lessons to my daughter.