No Costume Necessary

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There is no doubt that Halloween is a fun time of year; after all, a tired pointer finger that no longer can ring the doorbell of a neighbor or a friend is the only thing that stands between the promise of unlimited candy.  Talk about cause and effect, what a deal!  In our home, three costumes have made the final cut for our 2 boys this year.  Our oldest has a “Desert Parade” involving walking Cacti and Javelina’s at his school that unfortunately Woody the Cowboy isn’t invited to, hence the reason he has two costumes.  Our 3-year-old, aka, “Larry Boy” has held strong and steady for the last couple of weeks in his desire to be the fearless Cucumber turned superhero.  Needless to say, we are talking a lot about characters, dressing up, and whom we want to be.

The season certainly has me thinking about how often I “dress the part” as well. 

If I am honest with myself, I dress the part whether it’s October 31st or not.  I dress for the gym (or the allusion of going to the gym), the office, or the grocery store.  I can become the fashionista, the Scottsdale Socialite, the suburbanite, the Stay at home Mom, all by the “costume” I choose to wear.  Sure, my costumes may hang in my closet all year long and disguise themselves as my wardrobe, but if I am being real then there isn’t much difference between the heart of my children on Halloween and my heart all year long.

Whether 5, or 35 we all long to have a chance to be someone else if just for a moment.  The promise of change and escape is all to alluring.  What we wouldn’t give to trade places with someone or become some better version of ourselves if only for a night.  It is why our children love to play make believe and why we need the chance to step out from behind the kitchen sink to go on a date with our husband.  Dressing up isn’t all that bad; in fact it can be really wonderful, unless it’s all we do with our time.

That is to pretend to be someone we aren’t. 

As in most child’s play, there is something to be learned from the toddling feet that wear shoes five sizes too big just to feel like a Daddy for a moment.  At some point throughout the course of the day, that certain version of play ends, the temptation to be a fire fighter or princess no longer remains.  The costumes come off and the tiaras are put away.  What’s left is the true (raw) version of our children: the version that couldn’t possibly know the first thing about putting out a fire or saving a Kingdom from the evil Queen.  But at the end of the day, this is just fine with us. Why?  Because it is real.  We love our children regardless of whether they can leap tall buildings with a single bound- we know they can’t.

The costume doesn’t make them lovable; we love them because they are ours. 

I am learning that I am loved that unconditionally as well. 

I’m working really hard in my life to not wear so many “costumes.” Frankly, it’s a little exhausting and sometimes I forget who I am supposed to be in what situation.  I don’t want to care if my gym outfit is from the coolest retailer; I just want to be able to run in it.  If I’m not always fashion forward, I would like to think that my friends would still like me.  And I certainly don’t want to earn the respect of my teenage clients by my shoe choice; I want to earn that by my skill in the therapists’ chair.  Ultimately I want to be the same person regardless of what I am wearing.  I want to be able to put on a costume for a fun night out or special event and then just like my kids, I want play time to be over and to return to just me.

The real me.

No costume necessary.  

 

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Tracy Carson is a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor, a wife to her Prince Charming whom she has been married to for 10 years and a Mom of two precious boys, 5 and 3. Tracy has a passion for helping women feel beautiful inside and out and works hard in her faith based counseling practice, Professional Counseling Associates, (www.pcaaz.com) specializing in the treatment of women’s issues: especially anxiety, development, and eating disorders and counts it a privilege to come alongside of women as they overcome the stress that can come with new life transitions. When Tracy is not in her professional role, you can probably find her out running or trying to figure out how to incorporate the newest fashion trends into her wardrobe. Follow her on twitter @tkcarson

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