True confession time: Part of the reason I love having my kids dress up for Halloween is so I get to, too. They would do it anyway, mind you, and be plenty into it without my added enthusiasm.  But I feel the energy of the season give way to full throttle, warp speed the closer we get to 10/31. I confess to you all–I went Trick of Treating til I was a junior in high school. BTW–I was the Mad Hatter, and my friend Carol was Alice, and we almost got mugged for our candy bags by two hoodlums–or just as likely, two just as ridiculous juniors trying to give the other 15 year olds out a deserved hard time.

Even after I stopped going out to beg candy off strangers, I kept returning to costumes any chance I got–I was Magenta for multiple screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a gangster at UNH frat parties, a Jersey girl in Madison, a Fly Girl (think JLo/Katy Perry), and then there were the gigs I played where we got to dress up as the rocker girls we were in Boston clubs in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Any chance I got, incognito I went.

So, our family tradition, which we have done annually since our first born was 2, is that my husband and I dress up to match our kids’ costumes, and we go out as a united Mighty Trick or Treating Army. One year Walt was Harry Potter, and I was Hermione. One year Phin was Shrek so Patrick was Donkey. Once, Walt and I were Batman and Batgirl, Phin was Curious George and Patrick was the Man in the Yellow Hat. It is ridiculousit is over the top. The joyous frenzy (fueled by ample amounts of sugar) that the kids have as we all get gussied up to roam the streets of Boston once a year, with the rest of the mob, is viral. And it is sublime.

The take away message? Have fun, for Pete’s sake. Be ridiculous. Dress up. Don’t be too afraid to try something–anything–new. As DBT lingo would encourage, “Act opposite.” As Loretta Laroche would say, “Life is not a stress rehearsal…so lighten up.” As I would say, “Don’t be afraid to surprise yourself.” If we can be silly and not too afraid of looking silly, we laugh at ourselves and might better be able to take the world on in a less rattling way. Everything  and everyone looks less scary when you do as my husband does in traffic at times: pull the Groucho glasses (stache and nose attached) out of the glove compartment and make eye contact with the driver next door. Pretty random, but wouldn’t you laugh if you were the next guy over on 128 at a dead stop? I think so. Life can be hard enough so why not have fun when you can?

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