Pirates, Pumpkins and Princesses were all over the restaurant. I’m a sucker for babies and cute kids. I couldn’t help myself. I wandered around the restaurant greeting heroes, cowboys, fairies, clowns and vampires.  I saw Spider-Man at a table next to us and commented on how “amazing” it was to be in the same restaurant with Spider-Man! He eventually took off his mask as we were leaving and I called attention to the fact that Peter Parker had joined us. His face went as red as his suit and an enormous smile formed on his face. His family was beaming. 

I spotted Queen Elsa, and made sure everyone knew that we had royalty in our midst. She stood up in her chair with a humongous smile and took a bashful bow as the crowd gave her applause. I passed by Hidden Leaf ninjas, happy clowns, scary skeletons and ghostly ghouls. My favorite of all was a patch of pumpkins placed carefully in a line of highchairs and orange colored bibs. They were all munching away. Who knew pumpkins loved animal crackers so much?

I love Halloween time! Photo memory books on this date remind me of the times we had the cast of Inside Out and Kingdom Hearts assemble in our home to haunt our neighborhood for candy. I recall Jessie the Cowgirl, Elsa and Anna, Rapunzel, A Storm Trooper with Princes Leia, Wendy, Sora and so many more. I love Halloween! Yes, part of it is the ridiculous amounts of candy we buy and consume. But that isn’t all. I love the fun and fanciful moments as kids get to dream into their favorite characters, embrace the identity of their heroes, wrap themselves up in a wonderful world of imagination and make-believe. It’s magic. They get to be anyone they want to be and they are celebrated.

You can be anything you want to be. It occurs to me that we could use a bit more Halloween inspired imagination throughout the year. During Halloween we celebrate and applaud the creative adventures of our kids and each other. We should do that all the time. We should encourage and rejoice in our abilities to dream, to create, to wrap ourselves in fanciful “what ifs” and precocious “why nots” until we see the world though the magical lens of “what can be’s”. 

Trick or treat! Tonight, join me in celebrating what we can be. Dream into the future and the possibilities that await us. Those characters, those adventures, those fanciful explorations can unlock a storehouse of potential that will propel our human story forward. 

Happy Halloween!