Emily was never a bride for Halloween.
She was an infant ladybug in a bright red Onesie with black felt spots glued here and there.
She was a two-year-old Raggedy Ann. We tried to get her to look just like the dolls my mother sewed.(Eighteen-inch Raggedy Ann and Andy pairs and one life-size set). Mom actually crocheted the leggings Em wore under her Raggedy-Annish apron – one row red yarn, one row white yarn, one- red, one, white, and so on. Pretty darn authentic we thought. I have a photo of her brother Conor in his high chair, tearing off a red wig that was supposed to make him look like her partner Andy. He mostly looked like a seven- month-old who was really annoyed by the mop of yarn on his head
I also remember Em, a three-year-old Halloweener, dressed as a little mouse in brown tights and turtleneck and teenie felt ears. She had trouble keeping the tail on. The next year, she enhanced the image dressing up as Minnie Mouse in an orange pinafore – with huge white polka dots – and an official set of Mouseketeer ears – her father’s from his youth.
The next year a clown costume suited her– with its right-side orange and left-side black harlequin pattern. The colors alternated on the sleeves.
And then when she was six she became Beauty – and what a beauty she was -- the year the Disney film came out. Her costume called for a shiny gold fabric. Its pattern placed tucks and gathers exactly where the tucks and gathers appeared on the cartoon gown in the movie. A bitch to sew, but, in the end, worth every stitch taken and stitch ripped out.
Somewhere along the memory lane of pretend, she was also an Indian maiden, Pippi Longstocking, and even the Runaway Bunny, though I think those might have had more to do with school functions – not Halloween.
By the looks of her pretend- to- be choices through the years, I wouldn’t have said she thought much about being a bride.
That is – until the day of BFF Meghan’s wedding when Em said, “Yeah I remember all those times Meghan and I would pretend it was our wedding day.” For the first time I pictured the two of them as preteens, then adolescents, and then young ladies chattering about flowers, giggling about grooms, as Em went on to say.“We’d pretend, like it was a dream, and now, here it is – Meghan’s wedding day.” Yes, there it was. And here is Em’s wedding dream just around the corner. No pretending now.