When he was four, I bought him Spiderman and Buzz Lightyear costumes.
He out grew them.
When he was six, I bought him Transformers and Power Rangers costumes.
After two years, he hadn't quite out grown them.
When he was eight, I didn't need to buy him anything.
"I want a new costume for the party," he requested.
"You have two great costumes you could wear," I reminded him.
"I want something different," he explained.
For a second, I tried to envision which new superhero he was dreaming of.
"I want a man suit," he told me.
I tried to compute this strange new information.
"A man suit? Like with a shirt and tie?" I asked.
"Yes! I want to look like a man."
I wasn't ready for that kind of transformation yet.
For a week, I deflected his questions regarding it.
"We don't have time to go shopping."
"I don't want to spend all that money."
"You already have costumes!"
All of those reasons were legitimate but the truth is that I still needed to have a boy. He's my baby. While I have been guiding him into being a responsible and independent person, I'm not able to release him into the world of men. He's eight!
The night before the party, I went into his room to put together a costume of my own. I grabbed his old pirate hat and hook. I couldn't find the eye patch which I really wanted to wear just like Marie Colvin. I found his pretend knife which he had insisted on buying with his own money; he had also insisted on coloring the plastic blade with a red marker. I was going to be a pirate...a teacher pirate.
Well, after he learned that there would be no man suit this week, he finally agreed to try on his other two options. He settled on the red Power Ranger---but without the mask. I let down the hems that I had once had to tack up. His arms and legs had grown mashahallah.
On Thursday the party was held after school. I helped him into his costume; helped a few girls as well. My boy and his friends posed for pictures. They were so happy and excited. They ran out to have fun on the trampoline; my boy's cape flew up and down with every jump. I watched him with a huge smile on my face and video taped him. I don't often video tape but I had a new understanding of how temporary this moment was.
The three boys waited in line anxiously for the haunted house. One chickened out---but it wasn't my son. At the end of their adventure with the scary seniors, the two survivors ran out with declarations of how brave they'd been.
"They tried their best but it wasn't that scary!"
I was so glad to get my boy back---my boy the Power Ranger