Tag Archives: halloween

Day 22: Reverse Trick-or-Treating

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” –Tahereh Mafi

I will openly admit that this random act of kindness was originally motivated by my desire to put my son in this costume:

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Isn’t he adorable? The way he waddles around like he can’t decide if he is going to be running or falling melts my heart.

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But cute costumes aside, I also wanted to do this because I love trick-or-treating. As a kid I would anxiously wait by the door, counting down the minutes until trick-or-treating began. When I spotted the first group of kids rolling down the street I would shriek wildly through the house, “It’s time! It’s time!” This was a sign that my dad should drop everything he is doing and take off at a full sprint toward the neighbors house with me. For the next two hours I’d race from house to house collecting as much candy as my pale could carry. When it was full I’d run home, dump out the contents, and dash back out into the darkness.

Let’s just say if trick-or-treating were an Olympic Sport I’d take the gold. The first year I was “too old” to go out I remember feeling really bummed. It was one of the many indicators that I was indeed growing up and that adult responsibilities loomed on the horizon. “You can just eat some of the candy I bought to pass out,” my mom said to me as I sat slumped over in the foyer. Clearly she didn’t get it.

When Halloween rolled around this year, I wanted to find a way to bring trick-or-treating to all the young adults out there that like me, might be feeling nostalgic for past Halloweens. I bought two large bags of candy, stuck Oliver in his costume, and headed off to the local university. Because my husband is a graduate student there he was able to take some time away from his work and accompany us.

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In total, we passed out about 300 pieces of candy over the course of an hour. Responses varied from great enthusiasm and excitement to confusion. One girl thought we were asking for candy and apologized that she didn’t have anything to hand over. She was pleasantly surprised when we told her it was the exact opposite. Oliver had a lot of fun running around the campus showing off his mad dinosaur skills, which in case you were wondering is a move where he pounds his chest and yells “yeyeyeye.” It’s a little more Tarzan than dinosaur but with how cute he looks, no one cares.

We all had a lot of fun passing out the candy and plan on making it a yearly tradition, minus the dinosaur costume of course. I’m pretty sure teenage Oliver will have some pretty strong opinions about publicly prancing around with a tail.

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Day 16: Deliver treats to the Maternity Nurses

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” –Leo Buscagalia

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When you have a baby, most people are surprised by the fact that their primary doctor is not present throughout the whole labor. In fact, your primary doctor is often not present throughout much of the delivery. He or she shows up at the very end, catches the baby, hands it off to a nurse, and then deals with any serious complications that might arise.

Throughout my 23 hours of labor, my doctor was in the room with me for all of 30 minutes. The rest of the time, it was up to my husband and the nurses to keep me calm, keep my morale up, and fetch ice chips when I started to complain about how dry my mouth felt.

The nurses I worked with did a great job of treating me with respect and dignity. They did a great job of listening to my concerns and providing me with honest answers in a nonpatronizing tone. When I was tired and wanted to give up, they encouraged me to just hold on a little bit longer. When I desperately needed some sleep, they made feel less guilty about handing my newborn off for a few hours so I could get some rest.

These nurses are the unsung heroes of the hospital. They work long shifts, do the least desirable of tasks, and unlike the doctors who show up at only the most critical of moments, they are with their patients day-in and day-out. They deserve some praise.

When Oliver was born I never got a chance to properly thank all the nurses that assisted me. Since I’m a “better late than never” kind of person, I decided to use my random acts of kindness project as the perfect excuse to show them my appreciation. I heard through the grapevine that individually wrapped edible gifts are always a hit so in the spirit of the Halloween season I purchased a large bag of candy. I dumped it into a pail adorned with my RAOK sticker and then included a message of thanks. I figure sine they helped deliver my baby, the least I can do is deliver them a gift of gratitude.

I’d be interested to know if any nurses out there have seen this done and how it was received. Was candy a good choice? Comment below!

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