Yes…I Was That Mom

Sonja and Mikos Halloween 1981


Luca’s school project, with Sonja’s assistance

 “‘Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.”

Ezekiel 16:44



Our daughter Sonja recently posted a picture of a project that she helped her son Lucas with for his second-grade assignment. I marveled at her creation and wondered where she got this gift. You are either one of those connected-together Moms or you are like me, a last-minute get-it together Mom.

The entire time that our kids were in elementary school I could never quite get dates right. Sometimes I would take the kids to a party a week early or otherwise forget to take them at all.

I received all notifications from school but with my ADD and dyslexia, I would either forget or postpone the appointments.

Sonja was in second-grade when she came to me one morning before school, to remind me that she had to dress like a famous person. In a panic I dressed her in a boy’s white t-shirt and light blue button-down shirt with a pair of jeans. Right before exiting the car, I felt her small index finger lightly tapping my right shoulder. “Mommy, who am I?” My answer was, “Cesar Chavez,  now get out.”  My poor baby was not only a man but a UFW leader. I’m sure Sonja had never heard of Cesar Chavez. When Sonja’s teacher asked her who she was and Sonja answered Cesar Chavez, the teacher could not stop laughing. This made Sonja laugh as well.

Mikos and his friends
Me as the Easter Bunny, Freddie, Mikos, Sonja (I made Sonja’s dress), Rong Top: Fred, Mario, Nick, Norma, Myra and brother Mike

Halloween always snuck up on me, and throwing costumes together before dark on the actual date was not an uncommon occurrence.The worst Halloween occurred when I dressed Mikos like the Easter Bunny. I had made this Easter Bunny costume years ago for myself, wearing it on Easter Sunday to hide the eggs. Poor Mikos! Not only did he wear the bunny costume but I painted his face all weird. This was a church party, and when Mikos walked in he saw his little friends in real costumes. This must have been the most humiliating Halloween for my eight-year-old son. Sonja’s was a clown and she did not escape the scary painting job that I did on her face.

The following  year I decided to get ahead of the game and make Sonja a costume. Sonja would be a white cat with a nice long tail. Something was not right with the sewing machine, as it would sew one inch then miss and sew again . Sonja’s cat costume was really cute but had openings throughout, plus I stuffed the tail with old pantyhose. I had no idea that the tail weighed so much that it made a big tear on her butt while she was at school. The teacher had to pin the tail on Sonja’s shoulder, and by the time she got home the tail appeared much longer.

The following year I was even better prepared. I purchased a beautiful two-piece outfit for Sonja at a local secondhand store. It was a full length skirt with a matching top. It was her princess gown; however, it was  iridescent black and navy blue. The elementary school allowed the children to wear their costumes to school. Sonja looked beautiful, and with her tiara she made the perfect princess. One of her friends came up to her and asked Sonja what she was dressed as. Sonja responded that she was a princess. The girl was confused and asked her again. “Are you sure? Because you look like a witch.” I believe this is the day Sonja started developing a backbone. My little princess stood her ground and said. “No, I am a princess!” When Sonja got home from school that day she shared with me what had happened. In my disbelief I just told her the little girl did not mean to be unkind. Then Sonja said, “Don’t princesses wear pink dresses?” My quick response was, only the ones that want to look every other princess, you are special.

After the Easter bunny costume incident, Mikos never trusted me with Halloween, and he never dressed up in a costume either, preferring to trick or treat in regular clothes.

My childhood costume was either a ghost or a hobo, I alternating every year. My mom never had to worry about me on Halloween, as life was much simpler. Today my grandkids have their costume months ahead of time, with  no originality, they are costly and poorly made. Maybe I will surprise my grandchildren with homemade costumes next year.

Our country will spend over 9.1 billion dollars on Halloween this year, of which I will contribute zero.


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