Halloween 1982I remember the smell most of all- the plastic, chemical-like smell. I remember the stiff, molded shape smooth against my cheeks, and the edges-sharp and scratchy against the sides of my face. The eye holes were sort of in the right place and the elastic band stayed attached on one side, but kept slipping out of the other side. I remember my tongue getting pinched and stuck over and over in the mouth opening. I could only keep a Halloween mask on until my face started sweating uncomfortably, then I would remove it and the cool air would shock my damp skin forcing me to pull the mask back down. The children wearing masks were completely unrecognizable to friends and parents, but there was no question as to who the children were dressing up as. I laugh remembering the sound of my own voice, so loud in my own ears, muffled to everyone on the other side of the plastic. Trying to eat candy through the mouth opening was impossible, yet, I tried.

Pretending to be someone or something else is an intriguing concept for children and adults, though the effect is quite different. Children love to play dress-up all year. Encourage your children to pretend by providing items like scarves, hats, shoes, and various other pieces of clothing. Always monitor young children with items like scarves and necklaces as they may become a strangulation hazard, and remember to wash dress-up items often-especially when little friends stop by to play. Don’t worry if your child chooses to adopt a new persona for several days or about the perceived gender type of the clothes they choose, it’s all normal. I once worked with a child who only communicated with new people as a dog. For the first month I visited him he crawled on all fours, barked and panted. Eventually, he began interacting as a human. Respecting his process was important.

What are some of your early dress-up memories?

4 thoughts on “Masks

  1. What an awesome subject and right on time – Halloween! Remember all the costumes that were created over the years? 🙂 It was fun and brings back great memories! Thanks! What great creative imagination you all had!

  2. I think I had a reoccurring period of ‘army man’ dress up over the course of 10 years or so… But it’s probably because my sister dressed me up as a girl once and I was just reaffirming the ‘Rambo’ inside me;)

  3. I remember those hot metal slides…and the tire swings that we would swing so hard to try and hit the wooden support beams. 🙂 One complaint I have about those newer plastic slides is the amount of static electricity they generate…being able to shock someone to death just by touching them….and I do love those twisty slides. And I loved those big spinners’, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *