Thursday, October 11, 2012

Send in the Clowns

Pink polka dots, pink pom poms and a pointy hat describe my favorite Halloween costume as a child. As with most of my wardrobe at the time, my mom made the outfit so my sister and I matched. I remember this clown costume with incredible fondness, but the mask . . . that I did NOT like. (Thank goodness for modern day face paint.)
me, my sister Charlene, and my cousin Jennilyn (Halloween 1969)
When my own daughter, Rachel, was young the typical costume conundrum arose. She had outgrown her first costume--a Raggedy Ann outfit (borrowed from the adorable over-sized doll my mom had made me.)

But, whatever happened to that pink clown? I called my mom in Virginia. The costume was long gone, but she did still have the pattern, and soon it was in the mail. Never the seamstress my mom was, I sewed up a new version with much trepidation. I barely finished it in time, and I distinctly remember my good husband staying up late with me the night before making the big red pom poms while I frantically stitched away. It wasn't perfect. Poor Rachel had marks on her wrists and ankles where the elastic was too tight, but we all were quite pleased nonetheless.
Rachel and friend Sara in Albany, California (Halloween 1990)
I couldn't believe when 11 years later I made ANOTHER clown costume (a few sizes larger.) Kellie wanted something unique, and that is what she got. Sadly, by this time clowns were no longer seen as merely fun humorous circus stars. They had taken on a more sinister role, and I didn't like it one bit. I suppose we all just wanted to hold onto the comedic delights of clowns past.
Kellie, age 11, 6th grade (2001)
We are firm believers in reducing, reusing, and recycling so I couldn't have been more thrilled when Abby decided to wear Rachel's clown costume 16 years after its original debut. (Mostly, at this point in my motherhood career I was burned out with thinking up new Halloween costumes each year.)

Abby didn't mind that the sleeves were now 3/4 length and that the pants were knickers. She eagerly added colorful socks, yet opted to omit the pointy hat.
Abby, age 7, 2nd grade (2006)
That same year Travis wore Kellie's old clown costume adding a nose and rainbow wig.
Travis, age 10, 5th grade (2006)
Finally, two years later, Abby had her turn with our second clown costume. And with that, a Halloween chapter had closed for our family.
Abby, age 9, 4th grade (2008)
Despite my obvious lack of face painting skills, I still like the sweetness and joy of good old-fashioned clowns. So, yes, just send in the clowns!


Sara said...

Wow those masks are really scary! Also they kind of clash with your pink :) I didn't even remember being a ballerina--what a great picture! We look thrilled with ourselves.

Rachel said...

What a great post! And I didn't know that you stayed up so late! Wow, you must love me. :) Thank you! (20 years late).

2busy said...

I have "recycled" costumes through my kids. Way to make the costume stretch through time!

Ginger said...

Those are adorable clowns! :) I love all of the different variations and the creativity that went into each one. My kids all wore an old clown costume that Brian wore when he was a little boy and his mom had saved so I have some fond memories with my kids and clowns as well.

And, just as a side note, I love "Send in the Clowns"! One of my all-time favorite songs!

Lesa said...

I love all the clowns. I don't think we have ever had a clown at our house during the Halloween season. :(

Shannon said...

I love the clowns- and I dread thinking up costumes. Too bad I don't think I could convince anyone in my house to go the clown route. For now I'm pretending that Halloween isn't a few weeks away!

Saimi said...

Those are darling! Good work. I just recently went into a haunted house,and the clowns they had in there were anything but cute let alone darling.....I like your version better!

Garden of Egan said...

That is so cute!!!
What an amazing...."legacy"?
Too cute.
Looks like they had a fun time.

Natalie said...

I love the costume, I think you should make an adult one for the Hubby to wear to work :-)every year!
We had our fair share of repeat costumes too but it was always a power ranger or ninja :-( I personally love a clown but my pour girl is terrified of them.