We asked the mother of Hayden Capuozzo, aka Kayzo, to share a fond Halloween story from his childhood. It’s a heartwarming tale of a costume catastrophe and the tenacious mom who swoops in to save the day.
I was asked to tell you about a certain Halloween that stands out for me in regards to my son, Hayden. The year was 1994, and I am sure it is a great memory for him, as well.
Most kids change their minds a hundred times as to what they want to be for Halloween. Not Hayden. Even at 3 years old, he had known for months what he’d be. Being the competitive kid that he was (is), he knew he was going to have the best costume at Mom’s Day Out and would surely rule the neighborhood on All Hallows’ Eve 1994. This would also be his first Halloween where he got to run up to the door with his friends while the parents waited at the end of the sidewalk. There was no doubt in his mind that this would be his moment to shine and introduce the world to Hayden—the Green Power Ranger.
Hayden felt it to the core—no other color would do. He was the Green Ranger. He never missed a show… we could record it on VHS so that he could relive his dream at most any time. He collected every Power Ranger toy known to man; I still have most of them. He even named his aunt’s cat Trini, because the cat was yellow. It didn’t matter that the cat was a boy. It was yellow. It was logic.
In the weeks before, Hayden and I searched Target, costume shops and magazines, trying to find the Green Ranger costume (Google and Amazon didn’t exist). No matter where we looked, no Green Ranger. I had no choice but to have one made just for him. We picked out the pattern and took it to the “Power Ranger Maker Lady,” and after two long, agonizing weeks, his costume was ready.
Halloween was still a few weeks away, but I couldn’t resist and let him try it on the minute we got it. He instantly morphed. This was “it” for him. After the photo shoot in the front yard, he ran as fast as he could up to the TV room to sling himself like a ninja onto the couch, where he stood on the back of it and anxiously awaited the song—you know the one—“Go Go Power Rangers.” As always, and right on cue, he did his final ninja kick off the couch to land in front of the TV, where he took the proper Power Ranger stance and patiently waited for his cue from Zordon as to what evil he would defend the earth from that day.
Little did he know, that day was going to be a very sad day for the Green Ranger. This was to be the first in a torturous two-part series where the Green Ranger loses his powers. As he watched, Hayden’s worst nightmare at the age of 3 was about to happen. His costume was now powerless, or so he thought. As his mom, I was equally devastated. I will never forget the look on his face. It all became clear to me at that very moment that this was why we couldn’t find a Green Ranger costume. We just didn’t see it coming. The Green Ranger didn’t exist anymore.
I did my best to convince Hayden that this made his costume even more important, but he wasn’t buying it. Yes, he was only 3 years old, but if you know anything about him—he took it seriously, and he took it to heart.
I would have to figure out a way to redeem the situation. I should mention that I was three weeks away from introducing his baby sister to the world, but nothing was going to stop me. We hit the stores again, and there—while trawling the Power Ranger aisle in Target—he spotted the Power Ranger sound-effect gloves! They were like a beacon of light shining through the darkest of days. As we got closer, I could hear the karate chopping noises coming from the display and saw a smile coming back to his face. This was the answer. I let him open the gloves right there, and Hayden karate-chopped all the way to the checkout line. At home, we paired the gloves with the powerless Green Ranger costume. Problem solved: He had new powers! They were literally the length of his arms, but that somehow made them more powerful—in his mind, anyway.
That Halloween night was truly one of his best! He ran to every house, randomly kicking the air—screaming, “Trick or treat, smell my feet”—and karate-chopped our neighbors as thanks for every piece of candy that hit his hallowed plastic pumpkin. Those were the days.