5 things about being a parent on Halloween that every mom or dad can relate to.

My daughter tells me that Halloween is one of her favorite holidays because she “can dress up and be anything she wants for a day.”

Awwwww ... so cute! In a world filled with frustration and unlimited obstacles, I love that this day encourages her to foster her creative fantasies. As a supportive mom, I want to entertain her ideals and make her Halloween extremely special. And what could be more important than planning next year’s costume?

Like a proverbial PEZ dispenser of ensemble ideas, her Halloween costume planning begins on the floor, adorned in her current costume, sorting the sweet bounty of her prior hours of trick-or-treating. “Next year, I want to be a skeleton princess,” she’ll say with a mouthful of nuts saturated in high-fructose corn syrup. “Sure,” I say to her as I get her toothbrush ready. As a parent of an 8-year-old, I’ve learned better than to put too much weight into these premature moments of costume planning.


​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

I now wait until the grim reaper appears on those orange and black signs, promoting the opening of temporary costume shops in previously vacant storefronts. We then look together online, through thrift stores, and in these surprisingly overpriced costume outlets to explore exciting ideas for her Halloween future. She mentions she wants to be a hybrid of something that’s somewhat feminine and something utterly ghoulish. Despite how much I love how un-sexist these concepts are, her choices, unfortunately, always seem to include either accessories that make her invisible to drivers or something only suitable for a tropical climate thousands of miles away from our reality.

Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Eventually, we come to a costume consensus and we begin to plan the evening’s festivities.

Indulging in my own childishness from my years of juvenile past, I orchestrate what I think will be the best route to optimize our fruitful night.

Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Whatever we decide, I know the weather has the final say. So I plan accordingly.

Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

However, plans change: People don’t show up to our Halloween party, kids quickly become overly tired, haunted houses are spookier than we assumed. I just want my daughter to have the best Halloween possible, so, thinking about her happiness, I scramble to facilitate whatever fun is left to be had. Yet in this damage-control-induced craze, I don’t notice she is not only fine but has actually been having fun and has simultaneously, kindly, been thinking about me.

Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Despite my tendencies to over-plan and commandeer her best and spookiest memories ever, I realize that Halloween with my daughter is not about making it perfect; it’s about having a good time together in whatever shape, size, or form. Whether it’s hitting all the “good candy” houses or missing them completely because it snowed, it’s all about going with the flow and enjoying whatever Halloween throws at us together.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled that so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Racist jokes are one of the more frustrating manifestations of racism. Jokes in general are meant to be a shared experience, a connection over a mutual sense of humor, a rush of feel-good chemicals that bond us to those around us through laughter.

So when you mix jokes with racism, the result is that racism becomes something light and fun, as opposed to the horrendous bane that it really is.

The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

British author and motivational speaker Paul Scanlon shared a story about interrupting a racist joke at a table of white people at an event in the U.S, and the lessons he drew from it illustrate this idea beautifully. Watch:

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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