My favorite game as a kid was dress up. My neighbor had a box of shiny gowns, and we’d cajole our little brothers into donning a gown or two so we had enough players for the scenarios we’d dream up.
Back at my house, we didn’t have the dresses, but my mom let me play with her costume jewelry. We’d wrap blankets around our torsos and just drip with jewels.
I always thought it was important for my kids to have a dress–up box. Both my son and daughter relished the jedi robes, karate belts, and baseball uniforms in their box. For my daughter, she found the same joy in my mother’s old costume jewelry as I had. My husband contributed his mother’s old elastic cocktail rings to the cache of jewels.
We added Halloween costumes throughout the years. My personal favorite was my son’s Burger King robe complete with creepy King mask. Whatever my kids wanted to be, they found pieces to complete their wardrobes in the dress–up box.
My kids have outgrown their box of dress–up clothes, and I have re–inherited the box of jewels. I’m still fascinated with the old costume jewelry. I remember draping the bejeweled necklace atop my head as a crown, my blanket dress swishing about my ankles. I’d really like to find a reason to wear the princess earrings now.
I recently acquired my paternal grandmother’s fake pearls. And the enameled daisy belonged to my maternal grandmother. The other bits and bobs have come to me through my mother’s old jewelry box. I do wear the pieces when the occasion calls.
I think it’s important for adults to have dress–up boxes too. We struggle with who we are and who we think we should be. Why can’t we try on different clothes and try different things? Why not try on the jedi robe or wear the princess crown? If the items don’t fit, put them back in the box until you do need them.
I’ve been struggling with what to do with this blog and what to do with my life now that I’m done homeschooling my kids. Suzy Cucumber is now my dress–up box where I can try all the junk I want to try, wear all the hats and gowns and jewels I want to. And in the process, I going to find the outfit I’m meant to wear.
Meanwhile, I’m going to wear the princess earrings while I spackle my dining room. It’s a start.