Blog by Grace McKnight
Halloween has never really been that big of a deal for me, I don’t really like to dress up, besides I cannot stomach paying $60.00 for a costume that looks like I made it myself. I hate handing candy out, either I don’t buy enough or I buy WAY too much and then im sitting at home watching “scary” movies, shoveling Snickers and Twix in my mouth! I don’t like Halloween parties, they are always really lame or really rowdy. In general, it’s safe to say that I’m just not all that impressed with the whole scene. I DO like to decorate my tiny little apartment however, with spider webs in the corners of the ceiling, they are so authentic you would almost think they were real….and I LOVE carving pumpkins. I usually carve pumpkins at least 3 or 4 times during the month and it’s such a blast that I do not mind when they rot so quick. My baby sister and I sit out in the front yard for a couple hours, I cut she cleans, we usually have a pumpkin guts fight, and then we roast the seeds for a snack while we watch a movie. This year we made a vampire family and a pumpkin that had a few too many Bloody Mary’s. 😀
This year my precious little sister, Addie who is 14 and has Down syndrome wanted to be Cinderella. Well… it’s really difficult to find those kinds of costumes for the short and round, so since my Grandmother used to make wedding dresses for a living, I asked her if she would make one, for her cute, sweet, innocent little granddaughter. She said no, she is not feeling well, and does not have a whole lot of time. Well what the heck are we gonna do now? I already told her she could be Cinderella! I could not stomach telling my little princess that she cannot have a princess dress to wear to school on Halloween! That is when I took matters into my own hands and decided that I, Grace, amateur sewing machine user who can hardly stitch a button back on, would fulfill Addie’s dream of a beautiful blue ball gown. Ugh, luckily she is my sister and she will love it even if it looks like I did it with my eyes shut!
I picked her up from school one Tuesday afternoon, we grab a snack, and off to the fabric store we went! We walk in and she is in heaven! She loves all the pretty glitter material, the chiffon with the hearts and stars, the different colors of the Disney princesses dresses. She ran around announcing to everyone “This is yellow, this is Belle’s dress, this is pink this is for Aurora’s dress.” When we finally found just the right shade of blue, with glitter, she gasps, she grabs the bolt and hugs it with all the love in her heart, she says one word, “Cinderella..” I looked at her with tears in my eyes, and asked her “Is this the one you want?” She was so cute, it melted my heart to see her so passionate about this princess costume, and I thought to myself, I cannot let her down! This will be one dress that will never be forgotten. We wandered around the store looking for more little details for the dress: a zipper, some silver material for the skirt, the right shade of thread. All the while, she will not let this blue material out of her bear hug grip. We check out, she insists on carrying the bag, holding it in her lap the car ride home, and when we got back to the house, she watched as I started right away on taking measurements, cutting and pinning this long piece of material to resemble the shape of a dress.
When it was time for her to go home, she did not want to leave, and she was in tears when I told her that her dress would not be ready for a few days. I promised her that I would work like a mad woman to get it done in time for her to wear to school. She gave me a hug, cheeks still wet with tears, and said “Thank you Sissy.” Now, I work two jobs, about 75 hours a week, and I was already kicking myself for taking on the responsibility of this project with my lack of knowledge on the machine. I have called my grandmother several times at this point with questions about my machine, and how to start this or finish that. Even though she is ill, she offered to finish it for me. I told her “NO, I have promised her that her sister will make her the most amazing princess dress she has even seen, and I’m going to do it!”
Well I finished that forsaken dress, on a Friday night, a Friday night that I could have been spending on the town. But for the love of little Princess Addie I stayed in on that rainy cold night, and sewed my heart out. The first time she put it on when it was complete, she was so excited to look in the mirror. Again tears, in the eyes, she is just so special to me, honestly a huge reason why I am the way I am. Having a little sister with a disability has taught me to have patience and respect for others. To treat everyone the way you want to be treated. The most important thing she has showed me is absolute unconditional love. I have never been mad at that beautiful little girl for more than all of 5 minutes. Seeing her twirl around in her princess tiara and that dress that I slaved over, and then had to slave over some more because my dog decided that it didn’t need the piece of silver tulle attached to the side… nothing mattered to her in that moment of time, she really and truly felt like a princess. Most the time she makes me call her ‘Princess Addie’, so now she has the dress to match the attitude. And I cannot be a more proud big sister!