(VIENNA, Va.) — Julie Mudrick is the life of the party at her elementary school bus stop in Vienna, Virginia. Every October since 2013, she has been dressing up in a different costume each day to pick up her kids after school.
Some of her creative getups include dressing up as a Minion, Nacho from Nacho Libre and the grandpa from the movie Up.
It all started when she noticed her 8-year-old son, Luke, was “taking life a little too seriously,” the mother of five told ABC News. “He was worried about being perfect, worried about what others thought of him.”
In order to show him that it’s fun to be a bit goofy at times, she picked up a pair of silly glasses and a clown nose and wore them to pick up her kids. Ever since, the month-long costume party has been a family tradition.
Mudrick created an Instagram to chronicle her ensembles and made #busstopcostumes a trend among other moms throughout the country.
She says her goal to spread joy to the children on the school bus and, most importantly, to Luke worked. “They look forward to it every year and the kids on the bus love it,” she said. “A parent has come up to me to thank me for doing this. It helps make their day a little brighter.”
Luke now tells her he wants to dress up with her starting next year, when he’s in middle school.
She says it isn’t as demanding as it looks to bring smiles to her children’s faces at the end of the day. “I try not to spend too much time or money on this at all,” she said.
She spends 30 minutes to put together a costume and uses mostly what’s in her and her husband’s wardrobes.
“We have to prioritize our time. I’m prioritizing to teach my children to enjoy life and to bring to joy to others,” Mudrick said.
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