Set your WABAC machine to 1964, when the earliest of my own halloween costumes that I can remember was Astroboy (yes, I'm that old!) Of course, in those days the whole idea of tie-in merchandising -- especially for a Japanese cartoon -- was unheard of, so Mom cut holes in a big box for my arms to stick out of and a larger hole for my head to stick out of, and then (with vociferous guidance from yours truly) used magic markers to make it look roughly like Astroboy and off I went trick-or-treating with a friend. I don't remember his costume, but I do remember my next-door neighbor scaring the freakin' daylights out of us by answering the door with a big kitchen knife in hand.
In ensuing years there were ghosts, and pirates, and hoboes, and even a nondescript big brown something-or-other -- the only costume to actually win a prize at a halloween party! -- but in reality nothing terribly "different." (Unless you count the $40 full-head lizard monster mask with long blonde hair that I splurged on one year in college, with big green 4-fingered clawed hands and a big brown cloak, and a pair of old jeans I spent an entire day sewing blonde fake fur material onto to match the mask... still have the mask & claws, too!)
Fast-forward to the post-China years, and the Pipsqueak's also gone the "predictable" route. Her first halloween costume wasn't much more than a "My First Halloween" bib, but then there was a princess, and another princess, and then Elsa (from "Frozen") and then this year...
Well, this year my niece did something a bit different. If you read my "A Trip to Pennsyltucky" post last month, you might remember a photo of the world's largest crayon at the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA. It looked a little like this:
Well, as interesting as I thought it was, the big blue behemoth apparently really impressed the Pipsqueak because her Halloween costume this year was...
...a big blue Crayola crayon! (Who woulda thunk it?!?) I took the photos below at her school's annual Halloween parade, which luckily is early enough in the day for me to zoom over to see and then zoom back home to change for work.
There were scads of princesses, doctors, superheroes, cowboys & cowgirls, ninjas, warriors, werewolves, vampires, zombies, and so on, but only one other crayon -- and that little girl wore a pink dress with a tutu-style skirt, so it really didn't look like a crayon at all. Leave it to my niece to be the single rugged individualist in a school with hundreds of students!
After the parade was a dance party (I don't know how Miri danced in that tubular costume, but AJ has video to prove she did). The next day -- Halloween proper -- Miri participated in a "Thriller" dance flash mob(!) at a nearby shopping center without the costume, but later on she again donned the blue tube and pointy blue hat and had fun trick-or-treating with one of her BFFs from school. I joined AJ & Miri at their house later that evening (some longtime friends had stopped by for a visit) and she told me she got lots and lots of candy -- "like a hundred pounds!" before offering to share exactly one piece with her uncle. (Dude, that's one piece more than you usually shared with your family, right...? Shaddup.)
My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅-- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!