November 1, 2007

All Hallows Eve for Monsters, broken and otherwise

I had a pretty good Halloween, as evidenced by what arrived from Fed-Ex:



(I've been coveting them like the Gollum with my Precioussssss...)

As for Schuyler, she had a great time as well, like she does every Halloween.



This year, she opted for a sort of vampire-y, Goth-y chick look. The tattoos were a gift from a cool friend when we were in New York, and it would be no exaggeration to say that she loves them with something bordering on obsession. The one on her face? Still there when she went to school this morning. I suspect she's the only girl at her conservative little Plano school with art on her face today, although I also suspect that she's the envy of every little Hannah Montana-wannabe in her class.

Even though it's a sort of punky look, we agreed to this costume for the simple reason that it was a long dress, with sleeves and no bare belly. If you're the parent of a little girl, you know just how hard it is to find a costume that isn't either goofy ("Look, I'm a Care Bear!") or something from the Li'l Prostitutes Collection(TM). Half the girls we saw looked like they were part of a child molester sting operation. If looking at an eight year-old with low rise hot pants and a bare midriff doesn't make you uncomfortable, then you might want to check yourself in for treatment somewhere.

And just like that, railing against the wicked ways of Kids These Days, I became an old man. Just in time for... that birthday, too.

This year, Schuyler trick-or-treated with her best friend from her Box Class. I don't know why we never did it before. In years past, Schuyler either did the candy rounds with a little neurotypical friend of hers whom she loved unconditionally and heartbreakingly but who was frankly a toxic little bully to her, or she went by herself, accompanied only by her fussy, boring, smelly old parents.

This year, tearing from house to house with her best friend, laughing hard and communicating wordlessly, there was no imbalance between a talking child and her, no bossy kid treating her like some sort of plaything or mascot. There was only fun, and crazy amounts of sugar, and scary displays to scream at. They had the time of their lives, and not only did not of the people handing out candy have a problem with a mute little goth girl and her Supergirl friend, I'm not actually sure that anyone noticed anything different about them.

It's extremely important for Schuyler to present her difference to the world with unflinching courage and without hesitation or apology. Nevertheless, much of the time, maybe even most of the time, she moves across the face of this planet incognito, her freak flag flying but unnoticed, like a visiting extraterrestrial who walks among us.

In that sense, I sometimes wish that every day could be Halloween. For Schuyler, in a way, every day is.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

She is beautiful!! I'm new to your blog, and looking at that picture only - you can't tell that she has a monster. After reading many entries of your blog, I think it's due to you & your wife that I can only see the joy of a child on Halloween night in that picture - and not a pity me I have a monster - see here's my freak flag.

Freak flag - I love it!!!

Kathryn Johansen said...

She is one gorgeous girl. Glad she had a good time.

Erika said...

I just can't over how old she looks. I guess I still think of her as the little, little girl. The prettiest goth girl I ever saw. When she gets a little older, the boys better watch out.

Pickles & Dimes said...

I'm fairly new here too, but I love your blog and how honestly and beautifully you write about Schuyler. Congrats on the book!

Schuyler is just beautiful. I've thought this before, but in these pictures especially, she reminds me of a very young Drew Barrymore.

Sara said...

Oh my gosh!

When she starts wearing make-up for real you need to lock her up! Look at those eyes!!

Anonymous said...

Just had to comment to say, Damn! Her hair looks awesome! I'm heading to Texas for Christmas. Can I come by for a cut?
-chellebird

Major Bedhead said...

Whoa, man. Do you have a shotgun? You're going to need it. Or a bull whip? Or a big, scary dog? She's beautiful.

What a great post. It sounds like a perfect Halloween.

Anonymous said...

Aaaw, she looks gorgeous! I so hear you on the little girl costumes. Maybe next year she'll want to go as Godzilla or something.

And oh, how I wish I was still writing book reviews! I want an advance copy of your book so badly I could spit. (I won't, though. It's rude to spit in someone else's blog.)

grandefille said...

Lovely lovely lovely lovely lovely. Beautiful beautiful beautiful beautiful girl.

So glad fun was had.

And re: we agreed to this costume for the simple reason that it was a long dress, with sleeves and no bare belly, I counted FOUR little girls cruising down our building halls yesterday for the traditional Gimme Some Candy Because You Work With My Grandma celebration. Four. I had to go back into my cubby and stop giving out the candy because I feared I was going to start bellowing, "Did you INTEND to let your tiny daughter dress up like a drug-addicted child-abusing trailer-trash skank, or have you just muted the TV for the last 18 months when the name 'Britney Spears' was mentioned?"

So glad there's one more family out there who chooses to dress their daughters with class.

Danielle said...

Li'l Prostitutes Collection(TM)-- That's great. And good for you, Rob.

Sometimes I think girls think Halloween is just another chance to dress like a slut.

Those books..oh the books! My mouth is watering.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to get my book! They look fantastic! Schuyler looks amazing in her costume and how cool that she was able to share the night with her best bud. Your description of her in this post, especially that last paragraph, was just heartbreakingly beautiful and poignant.

Anonymous said...

totally Drew! (read: knock out, poor daddy)

My girls are just 2 and they were happy with their tiger costumes, the little girl who is my mother's helper wanted to trick or treat with us. She's 11 and was a rapper. So funny.

really didn't see much of the slut wear. but it was kinda chilly here.

Katie said...

Schuyler is one gorgeous goth girl! I get creeped out by the slutty little girl costumes too. So glad my daughter wanted to be a firefighter this year!

kellie said...

WOW - she is the most amazing beautiful little girl ever - love her costume!

Jolene said...

She is glorious! I cannot get over how she can look exactly like Julie and exactly like you, all at once. It's crazy.

Sandi said...

I love it!! My daughter went as a Gothy fairy. I was delighted that she chose something so different from the Hannah Montanas and the High School Musical cheerleaders!

As my daughter (who is seven explained it) "Some girls use Halloween as an excuse to get all girled up and cute. What ever happened to being something spooky on Halloween?" Wait until you get into high school honey and the girls use the excuse to dress up like hoors.

Grrrl power!! LOL

tashina said...

Love her haircut. Man, I wanted dyed hair so bad when I was a kid. I used to have to color it with koolaid when the parents weren't looking.

BTW, I'm moving to Plano next month - maybe the only Plano transplant this year that isn't moving for the schools. Need a babysitter? :)

Rob said...

Oh, you be careful what you offer up there! We're likely to take you up on it...

Anonymous said...

Schuyler, you are too cool! Just wait until try to convince your parents to let you get a real tattoo! Fly your freak flag proudly and you might just find a whole army of freaks spread out in this world with their own flags ready to share monsters.

As for the Halloween costumes, my niece was an 8 year old Hannah Montana Hooker. I was not sure if she would receive candy in her bag or bills in her waistband. I also did not know who to yell at - the child or my brother who agreed to the costume and thought it was "cute". Yeah, cute until she tries the same outfit at 13. Still doesn't come close to the five year old I had in my class who could pole dance. I think the Li'l Prostitutes Collection is a guaranteed hit - perhaps Libby Lu as an outlet for between Halloween seasons? :)

Bev Sykes said...

The book! The book! Yay! Exciting, isn't it!

As for Schuyler, well, I think everyone has covered it. She's growing into such a beautiful girl. I was thrilled to read about her Halloween.

Amy Linder said...

She is beautiful! Really looks a lot like Julie in those shots. Glad she had such a great Halloween. As did you - I cannot WAIT to get my hands on one of those books! If you need any preview readers to review the book - I'm here for ya, man. :)

Nicole P said...

Yeah, the kid is stunning. Really.

And congratulations on your own treat!!! It must feel amazing. :)

mo from ne said...

Schuyler has a wonderful sense of style. I admire your ability as parents to let her express that.
You must be so proud of her. I am looking forward to the book.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you're familiar with Jill Sobule but you might like this. It's about adults, but still...

http://www.npr.org/blogs/bryantpark/2007/10/jill_sobule_sings_no_to_grownu.html

-Pegkitty

nellymom said...

Yay on the books! Schuyler totally looks like Drew Barrymore. I was glad I'm not the only one who sees it :) What a beautiful girl, and how lucky she is to have you as her dad.

electricboogaloo said...

She is absolutely stunning. She always rocks halloween and I love that you guys break out of the grip that Disney has on this holiday. We do the same, but the results over here are never as hip.

Anonymous said...

she is a beautiful child - congrats on the book! what a great accomplishment

Anonymous said...

Li'l Prostitutes Collection(TM)--

I work in a public school and we see it all too much and unfortunately not just on halloween.. however our word of choice is "Prostitots"..

glad you and your wife have some good sense! :)

Anonymous said...

Drew Barrymore, that's it!! Schuyler really is gorgeous.

And so is that shiny new book. Congratulations!

Niksmom said...

Um, yeah, the book...yadda yadda yadda...(JUST KIDDING! It's awesome!!) But your Schuyler?? OMG you are in such trouble when she starts wearing makeup and getting into the whole dating scene. She is breathtakingly beautiful and carries herself so confidently. WOW, Rob. Just. Wow.

Kate said...

SO gorgeous.

Definitely the witch queen of Halloween. It's her night, for sure.

Love the fact that y'all let her pick her own clothes and support her choices.

And I second everyone else: she's GORGEOUS. Lock your doors and look up the local convent come junior high.

Balancing Act; Jenn said...

It's unnecessary for me to tell you what countless others have but I will anyway; Schuyler is absolutely a beautiful little girl. Not only in her physical appearance but to me, more in her eyes. Her eyes are 'old soul' and they speak all the volumes that her voice cannot. Just one look. I see it in one look.

Rob you have so much to be proud of in her and in yourselves. BUT I bet you know that already. I'm very sure you do.

Be well.
Jenn

Anonymous said...

The makeup looks great on Schuyler -- flattering, not overdone, not silly. (I wish I could do my eye makeup as effectively.) She'll definitely want to return to that look in a few years. (But your comments about costumes by Li'l Prostitutes TM make me worry that my remark sounds pervy. Then I start worrying that I sound like my mother, "Use some eyebrow pencil, dear, you look like a hard boiled egg without it," may she rest in peace. Then I realize that there's almost nothing an adult can say about a female child's appearance that is not problematic in some way.) Anyway I'm glad Schuyler had a good Halloween

Kari said...

She is so adorable (as always). I'm glad she had so much fun and was able to spend Halloween with a true friend.

Congratulations on receiving the first copies of your book. I can't wait 'til February to get my copy. :-)

rennratt said...

Your biggest difficulty is yet to come.

When she turns 15, you will be answering the door with a baseball bat, a golf club, or an Uzi.

Your daughter is beautiful!

Aja said...

We just found out we're ALSO moving to Dallas next month, or Richardson to be exact, from here in New York! Turns out Dallas is one of the only places hiring animators right now, so off we go. Is the traffic really as bad as everyone's telling me? :p

Very awesome Halloween news and pics, looking forward to my copy of the book! :)

Rob said...

Yeah, Richardson's just south of us, and the traffic can be bad. No worse than any other big city, I don't think, but yeah, it's not a treat, either.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh Rob, I haven't checked in for some time and Schuyler has gotten so OLD looking! She looks like a young lady; not a baby or little girl anymore, and so beautiful! I laughed out loud with your comment about little girls' clothes; my daughter is 16 and I remember it well from when she was young. All the best!
Teresa

Anonymous said...

Poor Rob. You've a budding beauty on your hands. As a mom of two cute sons, I warn you get ready to fend off the suitors! For your sake, I hope the boys are less aggressive than the girls.

Rob said...

I'm already scoping out remote locations to dump the bodies.

Anonymous said...

Rob, she's so beautiful. I can just see her as a the young woman she's going to become. You & Julie must be so proud!

Nex

Nakita said...

Okay, that little girl of yours is going to be called by every modeling agency in your area if she is seen looking that beautiful!

So glad to see there are parents who don't want their girls dressing like they got their costumes from Hookers Are Us!

And the book...THE BOOK! I want so much to read it!

Patrick said...

In that costume, Schuyler looks almost exactly like Drew Barrymore, circa "E.T."

Just keep her away from Jade. And the smack.