Boo at the Zoo in 2022

For all our friends in cyberspace who have been with us longer than a hot minute (or at least a year) you will recognize changes in our family photos for our second annual Riverbanks Halloween Boo at the Zoo experience. Taken last night, the first night of the 10 night Boo extravaganza we find Pretty in a very large witch’s hat standing behind me in my disguise as an old lady with white hair; to our right the witch family with Pretty Too as Mama Witch holding baby witch Molly now almost 9 months old, 3 year old witch Ella being held by Number One Son Daddy disguised as Gamecock fan minus gear. To the left of Pretty and me Pretty Too’s twin sister Pretty Also (with fangs) plus Super Bro in Law Seth and their 3 months old adorable Cousin Caleb.

The night was a perfect one – not so cold as we had thought – mild 60s. Most of the animals had wisely stayed in their sleeping quarters as the hordes of costumed children and frazzled families descended for utter mayhem. Or, as Ella told me when I wasn’t quite quick enough to lift her to see the one brave black monkey stick its head out for a peep at the crowd, I think he had to go potty, Naynay. Brilliant.

As I let Ella slide to the ground, she said, I think you’re too heavy to carry me. Her legs are almost as long as mine!

Thanks to the thoughtfulness of Pretty Too and Pretty Also combined with the commercial acumen of the Riverbanks Zoo, we have a few pictures to remember the night. (Luckily, or unluckily, videos of my ending dance (following a mug of witch’s brew spirits) with Ella to my all time favorite group Abba’s Dancing Queen were unrecoverable. Pretty forgot to hit the “record” button. Ella will one day thank her for that, too.)

A few noticeable differences in the Boo experience this year, the most obvious the addition of two children who still qualify for free admission. Two strollers required this time with related diaper bags containing well, you know, what diaper bags all over the world contain. With the little girl who now required a ticket to enter, a decided shift in focus from being mesmerized by the millions of lights outlining ghosts, goblins, witches, bats, pumpkins that had so thrilled her last year – to wait for it, candy acquisition and consumption. The war with sugar has begun.

The kindness of strangers moved us all when we entered the zoo last night. Somehow in the frenetic pace of parents getting home from work to dress children and themselves in festive Halloween costumes, no one brought Ella’s candy bucket. As Pretty turned to make an emergency run for the candy container in the zoo store, a young mother stood nearby pushing a stroller herself with another child by her side. She gave Ella a bucket with the words, we have two and only need one. Sharing is caring, right? Ella saw a very good example of what those words really mean, and we did, too.

From our family to yours, have a safe and Happy Halloween.


Slava Ukraini. For the children.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Humor, Life, Personal, photography, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Boo at the Zoo in 2022

  1. What a scary family! And what fun 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun time! Meanwhile, I like your disguise 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wayside Artist says:

    What blast!! I love the photos.
    Happy Halloween 🎃 to my favorite South Carolina family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Donnajune says:

    You guys look so cute. What a wonderful family.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cindy knoke says:

    Now this is Spooky Awesomeness! My 4yo grandsons are spending the night. They finally fell asleep! We had a very unghoulish evening (my bad), engaged in “outside activities,” and drew in coloring books with a Halloween theme, “Look it’s CANDY!” exclaims Owen as he turns the page. “Nana can we have more outside activities?” asks Xavier. Happy Halloween to you and your beautiful family Sheila.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Who needs Boo at the Zoo when your grandsons can have outside activities with a Nana like you??!! They might need a little CANDY thrown in just for extra added attractions!! Enjoy! Happy Halloween!


  7. Luanne says:

    I love these photos. It looks like great fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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