What's Your Ghoul In Life?

by DavalosMcCormack on November 1, 2010

Living in San Francisco you quickly get used to seeing people wearing strange outfits. I remember seeing a man shopping in a supermarket with a shopping basket and a walkie-talkie radio in one hand, and the other hand was holding the upper half of a shop window mannequin that had a gas mask on. He was standing in the frozen foods aisle and everyone around him was acting as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

But even so, Halloween brings out something special in this City.

Just your everyday pirate

There is something really rather magical about going to work and seeing a man dressed in a wonderfully elaborate Captain Hook costume on his way to the office with a hook on one hand and a briefcase in the other. Or seeing a bus go by and inside it there’s a witch dressed in flowing black robes, a tall hat on her head, broomstick in one hand and the other hand holding a  newspaper.

I love that adults get to act like kids again, dressing up in weird and wonderful costumes and acting out their fantasies.

I love that kids get to dress up to, pretending they are adults, superheros and princesses and magical creatures.

Tiny blessings

The hospital I work out has a particularly delightful tradition at Halloween. We hold  a party for all the children who started out fighting for their lives. They are graduates of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where skilled doctors and nurses care for children born prematurely or with serious life-threatening problems. After weeks, or in some cases months, the kids get to go home and start the rest of their life, but every year they come back in their hundreds, dressed as lions and tigers and bears and pirates, to thank the staff who cared for them. This event has taken place every year for 42 years!

And the staff get dressed up as well. There’s something wonderful about seeing the Director of Women and Children’s services dressed as a medieval wench and her husband as a marauding viking.

This year the staff did something even more delightful. They held a competition to see who could create the best costume for a NICU baby. They started out with a simple white onesie and then let their imaginations run wild. And boy did they ever. One created a dragon, another a cop, several princesses, a handful of bees, a preemie version of Lady Gaga. In all, about 45 of the sweetest costumes you can imagine. Here’s what they look like.

To see all the families, who have been through so much, having such a great time with their kids – kids who almost didn’t make it – is a true gift. It’s a reminder that what we have is so precious that we must never lose sight of how fortunate we are.

And so why not dress up as a pirate or a scary celebrity once a year and let our your inner demon. There’s plenty of other days for being serious.

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