Halloween is a holiday meant for children of all ages. No matter the individual circumstances, kids everywhere look forward in eager anticipation for that magical day when they can fulfill their wildest fantasies. Halloween brings with it that once-a-year opportunity to see what's it's like to be Elsa, a pirate, or even a Ninja Turtle.
Some costumes are elaborate; others are simple. No matter, the imagination of the child is what brings the apparel to life - all with one sole purpose: to allow the wearers to "become' their alter-egos, if only for one night.
For some children, however, circumstances prevent them from donning costumes and joining the other kids on the door-to-door adventure of trick-or-treating. Some are ill or otherwise physically unable to get out and take part in the fun.
A group of compassionate nurses in the NICU unit of St. Luke’s Hospital in Missouri, joined with volunteers from The March of Dimes to make sure some of their tiniest patients had the opportunity to take part in this Halloween tradition.
With input from the parents of NICU babies, volunteers created miniature versions of the costumes the parents selected. Some of the moms and dads took part in the fun - some helping to dress their children in their outfits, others donning their own costumes for memorable photo shoots.
Many parents chose Superhero costumes for their little fighters, hoping that maybe their babes could channel some of their alter-egos’ superpowers to help them get well sooner. We have Superman and Batman, of course.
Don’t forget Wonder Woman and Captain America who are here to join in the courageous fight for these NICU babies!
Some parents went a different direction, choosing costumes reflecting other happy aspects of life: from sweet, wistful butterflies to MLB costumes. It doesn't really matter what the little darlings wear; it's only important that these tiny warriors feel the abundant love that went into the creation of these precious outfits.
With Halloween quickly approaching, it’ll soon be time to get our kids and grandkids all decked out in their fabulous fantasy get-ups. As we prepare for that day, and all the holidays that are to follow, it’s a perfect time to be grateful for things we sometimes take for granted - especially our ability to be with loved ones on these special occasions.
It’s nice to know that, thanks to the generous nurses and volunteers at St. Luke’s, even some of the sickest children out there will be joining us, in their own way, as we celebrate Halloween.