When I was pregnant with my oldest son, I always assumed he’d look a lot like me. I’m Asian, after all, and from what I’d learned in biology, my dark genes should be dominant. When Cael arrived, though, he looked nothing like me. He had brown hair, deep-set hazel eyes, and pale skin. I got a lot of “wow, he looks a LOT like his dad” comments. Once, when I was with Cael without my husband, a random lady on the elevator looked at us both and said, “he MUST look a lot like his dad.” He even had my husband’s almost-perpetual scowl.
As he grew into his personality, he even started to act a lot like my husband. Right around age three, though, Cael and I discovered that we had a common passion: costumes.
Cael has a giant box full of costumes and even more boxes of props. While most of his toys are quickly forgotten hours after he receives them, the costumes are used regularly. When friends come over, he shares them, so we get a house full of superheroes, pirates, and ninjas. He’d wear a costume every day if I let him (and when he doesn’t have to go to school I do because it’s kind of adorable watching him run around town with a cape on. Hell, I wish I could sometimes).
Cael’s always had a very vivid imagination, so he could pretend a stick is a sword or a towel is a cape, but now he’s starting to get to the age where he can do some real construction (with a little help, of course). The other day, he came home from summer camp with armor and a shield he’d made out of cardboard, and I think I was as proud of him as the day he first said “mama.”
Last week, he asked if we could make a costume for him like the drawing on one of his shirts.
After looking unsuccessfully for a helmet I could quickly modify, we decided to make one out of paper mache over a balloon for a mold. Cael was excited about tearing up the paper but got quickly turned off by the paste. He complained about his hands being dirty after a few minutes, and I finished covering the rest of the balloon myself. Unfortunately, we made our first attempt during a tropical storm. It took days to dry, and when it was finally ready, there was a thick black layer of furry mold on it. This is our second attempt:
It dried without molding this time although it does have a slightly weird smell. Hopefully that’ll go away once I seal it and paint it.
And my own costumes haven’t fallen by the wayside completely. I went with ease and comfort for the second costume and decided on Mary Marvel. I made myself some gold boots by stripping and painting an old vinyl pair that had been sitting around so long the vinyl was flaking off. Cael even offered to help:
I cut out the dress last night. I’ll post pictures of the finished boots and dress soon.