Edited to add: When Ellie wanted to be Tinkerbell (and then Peter Pan and then Captain Hook and then The Crocodile That Ate Captain Hook's Hand and then back to Tinkerbell), I decided to make her costume. I love homemade costumes; my mother (a far more talented seamstress than I will ever be) always obligingly made whatever costume our crazy hearts desired, including (but not limited to) an Egyptian princess, a robot, Little Bo Peep, and, most spectacularly, a California Raisin. From scratch.
So I purchased some sparkly chiffon-y green fabric, cut it into raggedy strips, and stitched each strip, by hand, to a ballet leotard. And as I sat up in the late, cold hours of Friday night, hunched over the tiny garment, stitching stitching stitching in crooked little rows, I felt like a mother. Yes, I carried her in my body and brought her into the world and nursed her and rocked her and managed to keep the two of us alive that first lean year of her life, and I am proud of those things, but something about this ratty, tatty, little fairy costume felt like a graduation to a different kind of parenthood, a culmination of all the love and pain and helplessness I felt during her infancy. This I could do.
For the first time, I sewed my girl a Halloween costume, one that she asked for with real human words, with my own two hands.
And she doesn't care one bit that the stitches are uneven, that the edges aren't finished. She loves that imperfect costume, just as she loves her painfully imperfect mother, because she simply doesn't know any better. For now.