For the sadly Hogwarts-ignorant readers, left to right: Neighbor Quinn as Harry Potter, his brother Kylen as a rather wicked-looking Ron Weasley, my Paige appropriately the brilliant, levelheaded (and wild-haired) Hermione Granger, and my boy with a perfected sneer as Draco Malfoy.
I appreciate that many people think I'm grooming my children for a Trekkie adulthood by allowing them to dress up as fictional characters and head out into public. My philosophy is this, however: Give them the freedom with a passive, nonjudgmental face while they're young (and it's still cute) and it might just satisfy some later rebellious/weird urges. For example, last summer we encouraged Mason to finally get the Mohawk he kept crowing about. He was wary of our permissiveness but went through with the haircut; six weeks later it was boring. We hope that when he's fifteen and feels like "threatening" us with doing something crazy to his hair, the reminder that we'd been there & done that - when he was SEVEN - will take the edge off. Of course that might backfire and he'll instead covertly get something tattooed or pierced, but we're committed to then whacking him frequently wherever he's inked or punctured.
So far in my life as a mom, I've been grocery shopping with Zorro, video renting with Spider-Man, and selling brownies in the neighborhood with Willy Wonka. You might be picking up on the fact that these are all male characters. Paige is inclined to occasionally dress like a famous sidekick, but most of the time she would rather lie low in the fantasy parade. Sometimes she seems more of a Goth girl in the making - she insisted on wearing her black spider t-shirt for the kindergarten school picture, and her look in it is as close to "Fuck you" as a five-year old can get. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this possibility, but I am confident in her practical nature and nothing says "impractical" quite like vinyl dresses, stiletto boots, and layers of makeup.
Now off we go again, into the wizarding world and beyond. Join us, if you dare...