Autumn has returned and all is right with the world, for people like me anyway, who believe as F. Scott Fitzgerald did, that "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." When the air cools and the leaves change, I swear there is a tangible sense of anticipation in the air.
I realize some folks do not share my enthusiasm for colder, wetter weather which is the harbinger of winter. To them, I say, "I feel your pain." I understand because I feel the same dread and despair for summertime, which for me is the season when my children dismantle the house and my mental health goes walkabout. While other people are holding pep rallies because they are mad with joy for summertime, I'm weeping quietly at the prospect of the sun setting at 10:00 PM and thus ensuring my children will never, ever go to sleep.
Different times of year are hard for different people. Let's just agree to disagree on which season of the year is the nicest or the most brutal.
But no matter what your stance on impending January is, who doesn't love to see gorgeous fall leaves, and pile up pumpkins and gourds on the front porch, and eat apples and pumpkin pie? Fall is glorious.
It's the season when Halloween rolls into town in a decrepit old jalopy sounding the ah-ooh-ga! horn, inviting everybody to act silly and spooky because hey, it's sanctioned by an official holiday, people. It's practically a requirement to decorate the house with tinselly black oversized spiders and dress up like the undead. Halloween gives us permission to be weird and funny. It also gives us it's blessing to consume way too many fun-sized candy bars.
What's not to like?
Well there are a few things, actually. If you're a mom with school-aged kids, or if you teach school, you know that while it is heaps of fun, Halloween is way too much work. Between adorning the place with fake cobwebs, prepping each child's costume, and hiding and re-hiding the Costco-sized bag of Halloween candy from certain family members, there is a lot to do before October 31. Henry asks me every year what costume I'm going to wear on Halloween. He can stop asking, though, because I'm always a witch, which he thinks is über boring. What he doesn't realize, however, is that me being a witch doesn't take too much stretching of the imagination.
Basically I believe there are good and bad parts of each season and even each holiday. I love the weather and the autumn activities. I enjoy Halloween, but I am really glad it happens only once a year.
When Halloween actually arrives, it's such a long marathon day of costumes, parties, parades and bingo cards with candy corn game pieces that when it's finally time to trick or treat, I'm ready to curl up in a chair like my Jack. He refuses to parade around in a costume and do all that mind-numbing work of ringing doorbells at the neighbors' houses. If he were verbal, he would tell you that trick-or-treating is for nerds. He prefers pj's, his tablet, and a cozy spot to sit and eat fun-sized candy bars.
I like my son's approach to a holiday which kind of stresses him out: focus on the good parts (like peanut butter cups) and tune out the rest. I'm thinking of applying his method to the upcoming Christmas season, which may include lots of Andy Williams and George Bailey, and absolutely no Elf on the Shelf.