Read Across America Week & It's 900 Costumes

Chelsea Brown

Posted on March 04 2022

Read Across America Week & It's 900 Costumes

I'll be honest I originally wrote a piece on the ridiculousness of 900 dress up days for Read Across America week. I wrote it after stumbling across the info sheet that was sent home to my ex-husband's house and left to die. Running inside to grab shoes for The Trifecta, is how a green sheet of paper caught my attention. It was only 36 hours before "Hat Day."  

Livid doesn't even begin to describe my emotions. I was running on fumes and 5 dress up days X three kids and practically no time to prepare felt like a kick when I was down. So I did what I do when I have big feelings, I vomit them all out on a page. Usually with my thumb on an iPhone which is exactly why I have carpal tunnel. I have big feelings a lot! It was highly dramatic, sarcastic and funny, my usual writing style. But I never could pull the plug. I never hit publish. Instead a new wave of thoughts bounced around in my head all week. 

To the mommas up early painting "Thing 1" on a t-shirt before school I see you. I see you digging out random things out of the costume box in the attic for Wacky Wednesday. When you're driving all around town trying to make "twin outfits" I see you. You're a damn good mom and you're doing an amazing job. 

There's a post that's been shared a lot this week that says, "Your kids won't remember if you dressed them up as Dr. Seuss or not." While certainly you don't need to spend your rent money overnighting a Cat in the Hat stripe hat. It's highly possible they will remember. It may not be important to you, but it may be important to them. 

How do I know this? I've lived it. My parents never helped with my costume on any of my dress up days and I loved to dress up! I still do! I don't think they even knew about my dress up days until I came down the stairs in costume. To say they were not involved at all would be putting it too mildly. Every homecoming our school sold t-shirts to wear on Fridays before the big game. I would throw the order form away because I knew they would never shell out the $12 for me to get a new t-shirt. So every homecoming me and the 3 emo kids who only wore all black would stand out from the crowd as the only ones without the homecoming t-shirt. I was mortified twice a year for 6 years with this experience. In the grand scheme of things, this wasn't that big of a deal. Except that it is, it was really important to me and my parents couldn't be bothered with it.   

So maybe your kids don't care, but maybe they do. I'm sure they won't say thank you for driving to 4 stores for crazy socks this week but maybe one day they will. I bet it will be when they are driving all over for crazy socks for their own kids. They will probably think, "Wow, I don't know how my mom did it. She had me an outfit for every single dress up day and never missed a beat. Dang, she's a superhero." 

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