Oh, the joys of Halloweens past, when the entire month of October was devoted to resolving the age-old dilemma: What are you going to be for Halloween?
With my four girls, ideas percolated on the back burner all year long, but the costume-planning season began in earnest around Labor Day, and outfit options cycled in and out of consideration at break-neck pace.
There were tried-and-true favorites:
Dogs and cats.
50's bobby soxers.
And a handful of one-time wonders including a tie-died hippie, Alice in Wonderland, and a big purple baby.
Inspiration came from books, friends, and honestly, what was tucked into our dress-up bin or could be easily made.
As for me, I understood my role in this annual pageantry.
Let them figure it out for themselves.
Help make things only when asked.
Keep my opinions and standards to myself.
In the end, we did not win any costume contests. Our outfits were simple, handmade and low budget.
But every single year, my daughters delighted in the costumes they had put together, and ran out into the dark mystery of Halloween night feeling magically transformed.