Family Fun
Big brothers dress up in costume with little sister every year for sweet Halloween tradition
I love everything about this.
Irene Markianou

When photographer Patti Schmidt’s sons approached their 20s, she was quite sure that her role as a mother would take a new turn.

She’d be the mother who would chat with her boys on the phone or maybe video call sometimes, and once in a while gather up for some family quality time. You see, two of the boys live in different states now.

At some point, her grown sons would maybe get married and she might even be a grandma soon.

And, although she had compromised with this new role, she had no idea life had completely different plans for her family.

In her early 40s, Patti got pregnant again.

“By the time I turned 40 I had given up hope for another baby, but there were other plans in store for us,” Schmidt told Today.

Her sons, Larry, 29, Patrick, 27, and Gavin, 23, were shocked when their parents told them that there was a new addition coming up, but the surprise was soon replaced by excitement.

Avery, who was born in 2016, was loved by all of the family members from the very first moment they found out about the pregnancy, but her mother knew that she would not be sharing what her older sons used to share as kids.

For instance, Avery would not get the chance to celebrate Halloween with them the same way they did when they were all young.

But she had a brilliant idea!

She would come up with a theme every year and have all her kids dress up and she’d take photos of them together.

The boys didn’t say no- on the contrary, they kind of liked the idea. Although they still sometimes have their doubts about the themes Schmidt chooses for them.

“They’ve never balked… they’ve always been willing. But there may or may not be a good-natured groan or two when I pull out the next theme,” the mother of foursaid. “They mostly laugh about it.”

In 2017, when they started the tradition, the costumes were inspired by the Wizard of Oz.

“Avery’s mid-air in that photo, because at the time I had a little photo series called #averyintheair and thought it would be fun to do in costume for October,” Schmidt explained.

The following year, they went for a Star Wars-themed photo shoot, while 2019’s costumes were inspired by Game of Thrones.

“My husband and I we were binge-watching (Game of Thrones), and I thought the boys as dragons would be so funny,” Schmidt recalled.

In 2020, which to this day it’s Patti’s favorite theme, they went for The Princess Bride and the photos came out beautiful.

Last year, the siblings dressed up as Harry Potter characters.

With Halloween coming up in just a few days, the family must be having a great time trying on their costumes and preparing for the photo shoot.

What a lovely family and how many happy memories they are creating in this way.

Watch some bloopers from the previous years’ shootings in the video below.

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By Irene Markianou
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.