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.