Chilly nights, bundling sweaters, crackling fires, multi-shaped pumpkins, and laughing kids…the sights and sounds of the season.
After the long and arduous days of summer, at least here in Kentucky, we welcome a cooler climate and change in scenery. Fall is perfect for both! The first falling leaves and brisk morning air seem to fill everyone with excitement and a sense of awe. With it comes many warm memories of my own kids and how this was one of our favorite times of the year.
My kids loved Halloween. We’d pull out the decorations and immediately argue. I wanted autumn themed decor, but the kids wanted nothing but scary! “Little kids get too scared”, I’d say. As a compromise, the scariest stuff came out on Halloween night… billowing smoke, glowing eyes, blood-curdling screams, and surprises lurking in the bushes. My kids gleamed the year we were told that our house was the scariest in the neighborhood. That was the year the little kids cried or refused to come to the door.
Costumes were another story. When my son was young, we always had trouble finding the right costume. If we went with furry or cumbersome, the weather would be hot and he’d be miserable. If we went with light and airy, the weather would be cold. We don’t have many photos of a happy little guy for Halloween! Ahhhh…Kentucky weather! As the kids got older, costumes became more creative and fun! My daughter always had a knack for coming up with the craziest costumes…and still does. One year she went as Taylor Swift and her boyfriend went as Kenye West. (We all know what year that was.) I still laugh when I look at those pictures! I particularly loved the year my son went as ” Blueman”…Oh this started way before Halloween night! He paraded around for weeks in that getup. Loved all the looks we got when he walked in a restaurant wearing this blue faceless body suit!
And who can forget all the food and preparation for the big night? I would make a big pot of chili or taco soup…often with neighborhood kids coming by to grab a bite. Halloween night was busy, loud, and chaotic at our house; but never lonely.
Things are much different now.
My daughter is grown and married and my son thinks he’s too old to celebrate Halloween…although he still loves haunted houses! I miss the chaos. I still get trick-or-treaters…of course. But, I miss the excitement of my own kids getting ready, laughing, and coming home with loads of candy.
This year, my candy bowl will be left on the porch and hopefully last through the night. I’ll be celebrating the holiday a new way…catching one of my favorite bands in concert. I’ll pick out my own costume and dance and sing with my friends. The night will still be busy, loud, and chaotic!
I’ll forever cherish all the memories of my kids and our wonderful Halloweens spent together. I’ll enjoy those memories, but I”m going to start making some new ones! Just like the seasons of the year bring new and sudden changes, so do the seasons of our lives. I’m going to embrace this season of my life and make the most of it.
I will celebrate each season, each holiday…oh, why not each day? In the words of Dave Matthews, “Life is sweet, but short for certain.” Someday, I hope to live Halloween through the eyes of my grandchildren…going all out in the scary factor, adding a lot more candy to the mix, and enjoying the excitement they exude. Until then, I’ll create my own chaos and make wonderful memories along the way.