Today I Dressed Up as The Jewish Mom in the Room for Halloween
. . . and I’m OK with that.
I’m currently going through yet another sinus infection, probably brought on by the cold my workaholic husband brought home last weekend. Last night I slept propped up on three pillows with my head pointed in the only direction that would allow for small breaths of air to make it through my one open nostril. I woke up three times thinking my son was crying only to realize it was the high pitched whistle of my humidifier warning me it was going to run out of water soon.
My son screaming, “MAMA!” is what woke me up two hours before we had to be at preschool. Judging by his tone I knew he wasn’t feeling right and dreaded walking in on a fever. “Up! Up! Up!” was all he had to say when I entered, and despite whacking furiously at his nose no mucus was in sight. Maybe, just maybe he’d escaped this latest bug.
Time would prove me wrong.
We wouldn’t let go of Fozzie and Kermit through breakfast unless I fed them yogurt, too. I didn’t think it too odd that he wanted to bring them in the car with us. He took my generic reminder that they wouldn’t come into class with us as nothing more than par for the course. But, when I told him we’d finally be going back to school (he’d begged the past two days to go every. single. morning. to the point of walking me out to the car and pointing in the direction we take) he just shook his head and said, “Home!” That was my first clue that something was wrong.
In the hazy hell of not feeling well again I got his reluctant little body into the car and away we went. As usual I reminded him when we got there that our friends stay in the car. Unlike every other time he refused to let go.
Then he whimpered the whole walk from the car to the parking lot.
By the time we got into our classroom, which we usually bust into with gleeful excitement, his whimper had morphed into a full-on crying jag. He would not come in without Fozzie and Kermit.
His teacher worked to distract him to no avail. My son is stubborn. Anger-poop in his crib after a straight hour of screaming-stubborn. I walked him to the car, got his toys and warned him that if some other little brat destroyed them he wouldn’t be getting new ones.
Back inside his teacher explained he wasn’t allowed to have toys in class. She showed him the special place where they could wait. He clung to them for dear life and refused to give in. She didn’t push. She just looked at me with a dropped jaw and an expression that said, “Oh, good for you dealing with that.” Yeah. I know.
Did I mention that my kid wound up being the only one without a Halloween costume on? Mom forgot the memo. In truth, Mom didn’t really care. Sure, I could pull out a Purim costume, but we don’t Trick or Treat so Halloween is really, really low on my radar. My son, like his equally stubborn father, prefers to hand out candy — requiring costumed children to come to him puts him in charge, you see. And it saves mom an annoying walk around the neighborhood far too close to her non-napper’s bedtime.
Nevertheless I felt bad for the kid. The teacher announced the costume parade around the school would begin, so quickly I looked at my son and said, “If anyone asks tell them you’re Jim Henson.” The teachers thought this was hysterical. The four year olds thought it was weird and no one else, including my son, really cared.
Back in the classroom parents struggled to pose their children together to get pictures. There among all the princesses, pirates, animals and minions was my little Jim Henson looking at me like, “Mom? What’s their deal?” I didn’t even make an attempt to grab my phone. The thought never crossed my mind. That’s when it hit me: I had unwittingly dressed up as The Jewish Mom in the Room.
As my son grows older it’ll be up to him to decide whether or not he wants to dress up for his school’s Halloween festivities. We won’t Trick or Treat at home. And if he asks me what a goblin is I’ll shrug and say it’s a goyish thing. As he gets older I’ll give him the Golem and we can watch Gargoyles together. But, chances are my costume will never change. Every mom needs to take a backseat once in a while. Halloween will be my pass.
Now, please pardon me while I shop the clearance aisle for next year’s Purim costume.