Each Fall, when my kids and my friends' kids were young, we we picked apples and went to the pumpkin patch and threw elaborate Halloween parties. I loved marking the season in these concrete ways, watching small hands plucking fresh apples from trees, laughing as they struggled to carry pumpkins too big for them, dressing up and turning our house into a haunted house just for them. But the kids got older and seemed less interested and harder to impress so we stopped. At first, I was relieved because memory-making can be exhausting. But lately, I've missed it. Maybe it's precisely because they kids are getting older than I want to hold on to some of these things. I am not quite ready for all of this to be part of the past.
The oldest of these kids is 14 and the baby is now 9 and I talked to each of them at various times this summer about apples and pumpkins and Halloween. "Remember when...," I'd ask and each of them lit up, "Yeah! I remember that!" and then they would add their own memories. I told them that I wanted to bring back our old traditions and said, "We're gonna do this. Are you ready?" and every one of them said, "YES!"
So, recently, we met at my house on an unseasonably warm Sunday to go apple picking. Luisa was the only person missing but a couple of her plaid shirts made an appearance.
We all drove to Afton and, before heading to the apples, we all went through the corn maze . This time, the kids took their own path and the adults took another - a perfect metaphor.
We went on a hayride and picked overpriced apples and the kids ran through the orchard with energy that matched that of their younger selves. Zeca had a nose bleed at one point. One group of kids got separated and it took forever to find them. It was hot and crowded and I got crabby towards the end which was consistent with all those other trips to the orchard.
But the kids had a blast and I realized that things change and they don't, that some things are worth revisiting, that you're never too old to marvel at the world around you.
I hope the kids are ready for Christmas cookies and The Grinch. Maybe I'll text them to make sure they put it on their calendars.