Until she was 9 or 10, my daughter’s favorite holiday was Halloween. She liked the candy, of course, but I think what she liked best was to dress up. She never seemed scared of masks or makeup, only intrigued by the transformations. It started to spill over into other days, too: sporting a beard—usually paired with a top hat— she’d waltz right onto the bus without hesitation. Stricter school dress codes keep her looking like a “normal” teenager most days now, though her school photographer might argue with that.

Isn’t it interesting how dressing up allows you to be someone (or something) else, if only for a few hours? You can be scary or funny, or big and strong. Both of my kids will be ninjas this year, likely one of our last times trick-or-treating. (If you see a bearded ninja, it’s probably my daughter).

Do you ever dress up? What’s your favorite thing to be?

“Acting is like a Halloween mask that you put on.” ~River Phoenix

“If human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween.” ~Doug Coupland