"What's Emma going to be for Halloween?"
Let's be honest: She doesn't care. She has no "favorite characters" and, even if she did, she would have NO understanding of the concept of dressing up like them.
In fact, many aspects of the event would be TORTURE for my little sensory Diva. A mask? No way. A big bulky costume? Not good for her favorite 'running around' pastime. A hat? A prop to carry? A cape? Sensory issues make all of those things too much to handle, particularly if you're already taking her to a place where sensory overload is likely.
No candy for my tubie
And no bouncing in the bouncy castle, either.
So I've been depressed. Why spend upwards of 20 dollars for a costume for a girl who doesn't care?
I met a friend for a walk around the mall this morning while the kids were at school. Both of our oldest are in kindergarten and our kids have all played together since infancy. She shared a story that made me cry. She told me that her daughter has befriended a mostly non-verbal boy with autism in her kindergarten class. She told me that her daughter's teacher went on and on at conferences about how her daughter has taken this boy under her wing, holding his hand in the hallway so he doesn't get lost, and talking to him whether he talks back or not. The teacher said that the boy has started talking more at school with my friend's daughter's encouragement. What an incredible difference this girl is making!
And my friend told me that she was thankful to have Emma in her daughter's life, knowing that, in some small way, she was sure that Emma's friendship with her daughter had helped prepare her for a friendship with a friendless boy.
See, there are lots of things Emma doesn't do. She doesn't care about Halloween. But the things she does, the differences she makes ... it's way bigger than a costume.
I left the mall feeling better (a good talk with a good friend can do that). I passed a display of holiday dresses in a department store on my way out. The dresses were gorgeous, frilly and sparkly and beautiful. I remembered how, last Christmas, I took Emma to a Ladies Christmas Tea at our church and how she loved wearing a beautiful dress. She positively pranced that night :)
I bought two of the dresses and took them home.
Later, when the kids were home from school, I asked Charlie to help me with Emma's costume. One of the dresses was beaded all the way up the front, and Emma panicked when it was on. I could tell that it was uncomfortable for her where the beading touched her neck and shoulders. I was discouraged, but I took the dress off to try the other one on. I asked Charlie to go and get the shiny black shoes that I had purchased for Emma on clearance at the end of last season. He cut the tags on the shoes while I put the first dress away.
I showed Emma the second dress. It's soft on the top and sequined on the bottom. She grabbed for the skirt to investigate the shiny designs. We tried it on, and while I was tying the bow in back, Charlie sat in front of her, putting her shiny shoes on.
Emma stood up and pranced like a princess
She's so enthralled by the beautiful dress, she seems to not even care about the tiara on her head.
|(pardon the fuzzy picture - note the aforementioned prancing)|
Emma will not be wearing a costume this year; she will be dressed like the Princess she is!