A California mom of four is proving that creativity is contagious after continuing her annual tradition of dressing up in a Halloween costume every day during the month of October to pick up her kids from school.
For the past six years, Carrie Motley has donned a homemade Halloween costume when picking up her four sons from their school in the Rocklin Unified School District throughout October. While her sons, Ryan, 16, Sean, 14, Kyle, 11, and Cade, 8, didn't initially enjoy the idea of their mom showing up at school in a full Halloween costume, they now look forward to it — in fact, her sons now join her in dressing up.
"My high school boys laugh at me and with me," Motley tells Yahoo Lifestyle. "They have been willing to join me when their school schedule coordinates. They are totally used to my crazy."
For the family, it has been a lesson in confidence.
She believes the costumes have helped her sons by encouraging them to realize that being a little bit embarrassed isn't the end of the world. Along with her younger boys, even her high school sons have joined in on the fun.
“I have seen my kids explain my costumes to many others like it is so normal, which has developed their courage and confidence,” Motley shares. “Dressing up daily has helped me with my own confidence as well. I had a hard time the first year even walking up to the school in a straight line because I was laughing so hard.”
“Each of [my sons] have participated at times. That is brave — it shows confidence,” Motley says. “I remind them often about appreciating and respecting differences in others, not to be worried about appearances.”
Her sons have also learned to love the suspense of the surprise they have waiting for them at the end of each school day. According to Motley — who got the idea from a friend in Virginia, who has been doing this for seven years — she has utilized her stapler and glue gun to transform borrowed materials and thrift shop clothing into 91 costumes for herself, and about 50 more for her "sidekicks."
The costumes, of course, have drawn the attention of her sons' peers, as well as the teachers and administration at the school.
On Monday, Motley was invited to speak to students at Valley View Elementary School at a morning assembly; she was dressed as Rafiki from the Lion King, with son Sean dressed as Scar.
"It was a wonderful opportunity to talk to our school about why I dress up and to teach them about kindness and respect,” Motley says. “When we have courage and confidence, it fills us inside and then we, in turn, are able to fill and lift others. It’s so important for elementary students to find their own confidence.”
Motley adds: "I dress up like this is to spread happiness. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured! Hopefully, the kid who leaves class and has had a hard day for whatever reason sees me on their way out and laughs to themself."
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