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My teenage daughter Rachel recently became 18 years old. In the dream I had a few nights ago, however, Rachel was a perfectly comprehensible 5 year-old child. Clad in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt and a pair of pink shorts, her hair in pig-tails, and hugging her favorite teddy bear, she was the very definition of the word "adorable." As we were preparing for some sort of picnic or family excursion, my daughter seemed to be everywhere at once - packing toys, jumping up and down with excitement, hugging her mother and me, and telling us how much she was looking forward to our imminent getaway. As the dream continued, however, I began to notice that something was not quite right. I sense that my ostensibly 5 year-old daughter's childlike personality was somehow strained and artificial, almost as though she was trying too hard to be cute - trying too hard to convince.
Finally I sighed, smiled a sad smile and said, "Rachel, you don't have to do this. I appreciate your wanting to make me happy, but I know how old you really are, and I know that you have to grow up."
"Are you sure?" she asked me.
"Yes," I barely managed to reply as my throat began to constrict.
"Well, okay then," she said gently. "You'd better stand back a little, Dad."
With a loud crack and puff of smoke, she transformed upwards into her present age and height, a shade taller than me. Her eyes sharply fixed on mine, jaws grinding and chewing gum snapping, she shrugged her shoulders slightly and mumbled, "I'm going into Tel Aviv with my friends."
I woke up saying, "Go, Enjoy." This time, the weight on my chest was heavier.

She would surprise them today. She undid her hair ties. Her hair flowed down. She put her hand to her face and touched the freckles. Soon she began to stand taller, more graceful. Her legs lengthened, she was growing, her body filling out, as her clothes became impossible to wear. She would show them now.
They all looked at her. Alyson first peered at her quizzingly then smiled. Everyone else gave her puzzled or worried looks. I knew this would make them uncomfortable. I knew it.
Alyson stood up and hugged her like the caring older sister she was. She felt so relieved, maybe she understood, she had to do this, the sacrifice was her childhood, what she gained was...womanhood? Maturity?
They all looked at her. Most gave comforting but nervous smiles. Alyson shakily held her and looked her in the eye.
"Happy Birthday sister."

THESE ARE "READY MADE COSTUMES", not custom made costumes, so there is plenty of room for error and you must take that into consideration when measuring your students.
You are measuring your students in September or October and you may not receive the costumes until perhaps April or May. There is a very good chance that the students will grow a couple of inches by then, gain a few pounds, suddenly mature into a more adult figure and so on. YOU have to be the one who decides how much room has to be left for these considerations. The costume house can only go by the sizes you order, but it is YOU who knows the students better than anyone else and YOU have to make certain decisions.
Most companies go primarily by the girth measurement. (The measurement that starts from the center of the shoulder goes through the crotch and returns to the starting point.) Even though you still have to take into account the bust, waist and hip measurements, this is the most important measurement because of the material. Most materials stretch sideways, not up and down, so a lot of discrepancies can be hidden with the stretch. But if the student has grown significantly taller for example, the costume is going to be too short in the girth.
Let us assume that a student measures a small adult in the bust, waist and hips, but is very tall and thin and her girth measures a medium adult. What do you do? Most of the time it means ordering a medium adult and being prepared that the costume will have to be taken in by the parent or a seamstress. This is just one of the realities of ordering costumes.

Cathleen Quinlan
Normal Appearance: 5'8" - 115 pounds -tall/skinny.
Abilities: Cathleen embodies the essence of a woman's life, from child, virgin, to motherhood...this allows her to change her age at will...although Cathleen hasn't quite mastered this technique yet...
Feelings on the Transformation: Not too ecstatic about her predicament...the new Cathleen is constantly trying to find her true identity as a person.

Mother Says Daughter's Class Picture Was Doctored
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A local family is outraged by a school photo. When the pictures came back from the studio, the 7-year-old girl's image appeared to have been doctored to give her cleavage.
The debate is whether the photo just has a very strange shadow (the company that took the photo insisted it was. In fact, they have invited the girl and her mother to their studio to try and recreate the conditions of the picture hoping to prove there was no alteration.) or if it's been digitally altered.
Jenn Truhe: "It's just bad. It's horrible. She's my baby, not for somebody to look at her like that. She's seven, she's not an adult."
The picture showed the 1st grader with what appears to be significant cleavage. Later it came true however.

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