This year Halloween was quite different than the last years, and I'm not complaining. I had to work at the hospital during the day, but I was able to go in early enough to get home with enough time to get ready to go out with friends.
At work, some of the nurses and other child life specialists dressed up for the children. It took me quite some time to finally decide what I was going to be and I was leaning towards a minion or Super Mario, until I was in the halloween store and I found a woody costume that would be perfect with my cowboy boots! Since it'd give me another chance to wear my cowboy boots, I was sold. It was easy and comfortable to wear, except I hadn't realized I'd be running around the floor with cowboy boots on (my feet were a little bit sore when I finally took them off). The children loved it, as did most of the staff; and it made the day fun. The children couldn't dress up or go out trick or treating, which I never thought about prior to working in a hospital. Even while I was volunteering and interning in hospitals, I never thought of children being in the hospital on holidays. While you may be thinking Halloween isn't a huge holiday to miss, it is to a 7 year old who planned to dress up as his favorite super hero and have a candy competition with his friends. We were able to bring joy to children though, even the babies who would be missing their first halloween, by doing reverse trick or treating! We handed out halloween bags that morning (though pillow cases could have worked just as well; remember those days?!), and we had the nurses and staff participate by knocking on their door, saying 'TRICK OR TREAT,' and giving them a small toy or knick knack ... does anybody still say knick knack anymore? The children, as well as the parents, loved it, and were happy their children were able to celebrate halloween in a special way. We also had ongoing crafts in the playroom, with the help of volunteers, and passed out cupcakes, as well as their own mini pumpkins! While we couldn't carve the pumpkins, some kids used markers to draw on them.
It was incredible seeing the resiliency of children in the hospital; while they were upset in the days prior to, they were no longer upset when they had a bag filled with special toys. I bet they didn't think they'd be celebrating at all in the hospital. Hopefully it made it a little less scary and a lot more fun.
When I got home, I had a bit of a wardrobe change, transforming myself into Pepper Potts. Not sure who she is? Have you ever seen Iron Man? Pepper Potts is Tony Stark's girlfriend. Tony Stark being Iron Man himself, and who, you ask, would be Tony Stark... well Sal would be. Sal had it in his mind that he wanted to be Tony Stark, not Iron Man, just Tony. Joking around, I said it would be funny if I was Pepper, only I didn't have blonde hair. He decided that after 5 years, it was time for us to actually dress up as a couple on Halloween. While I wasn't against the idea, I wasn't completely sold, until he told me that I could wear business attire, and just had to add on a blonde wig. I have to admit something though; the minute I put the blond wig on, I cried. Identity crisis commence! I was fine once I got into character, and kept repeating that I could take the wig off once the night was over. Once we were both dressed, and I had my ID badge on, along with my Stark Industries notebook in hand, we looked quite like the characters themselves! We headed out with our friends, and while I thought it was obvious who we were, we had to explain it to some, but I didn't mind. It was funny to see what people chose to dress up as, all while enjoying a few cocktails.
I learned a few things about myself that day... #1 being that I will never, ever dye my hair blonde.