From experience, I can tell you "Jackie Kennedy Onasis is not the typical costume for a fifth-grader. Then again, I'm don't see myself as a typical girl. I've always had a desire to be my own person. That sense of being unique still holds today. As soon as something becomes trendy, I want nothing to do with it.

When I fell in love with a peach 50s dress at the thrift store, I knew there was no other option. This had to be my Halloween costume. I couldn't just be a 1950s girl, though. I needed to be someone from the 1950s who evoked glamour. The obvious choice-Jackie Kennedy Onasis.

Now, many moms would have tried to talk their daughters out of a costume that would most likely illicit ridicule. Not my mom. Oh, she warned me. She told me many people-especially my classmates-wouldn't know who Jackie O. was and why I'd even want to be her. But, if I was set on being her, she would fully support me. She did. She procured the perfect gloves, pearls and pillbox hat to make sure my vision of Jackie O. came to life.

That old adage "Mom knows best" was right. None of my classmates knew who Jackie O. was, and I'm sure more than one of them thought it was a strange choice. And while adults at least knew who Jackie O. was, my blond hair didn't automatically scream Jackie O., so I left more than one of them guessing who I was.

By allowing me to dress as Jackie O., my mom was teaching me some valuable lessons. Granted, I didn't see them at the time.

  • She taught me it's ok to be unique. The world is going to be filled with lots of people wanting to fit in. Sometimes it's better to stand out and embrace those things that make you you. Whether it's a love of vintage clothes, cosplay, sports, anime or whatever. Be you!

  • She taught me to have confidence in my choices and that confidence will get me far. I could have switched costumes after the school parade and before trick-or-treating with friends. I didn't because I was confident with my choice. That dress made me feel like a million bucks, and that made me feel confident.

  • She taught me to have faith in my decisions, abilities and choices. She knew there were going to be times when I'd question decisions I made, and I did. During those moments of doubt, knowing my mom had faith in me and the decisions I made, allowed me to have faith in my decisions too.

  • She taught me to have thick skin. There will always be people who don't like what you're doing and who will try to pull you down because they don't want you to succeed. The only way to follow my dreams was to not let those people affect me. This made junior high A LOT easier-not perfect-but, I could handle most of what was thrown at me.

As an adult, I am grateful for the lessons my mom taught me that Halloween. One day, I hope to pass along her wisdom and these life lessons to my daughter.

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