The crisp autumn air from the cracked door softly breezed across my cheek, cooling me down to my fingertips and making even my eyes feel cold and dry. This time of year always sneaks up on me. I blinked hard and my dry eyes filled with warm tears.
“Mom, are you crying?”
“No, honey. Just allergies.” It was the truth; my eyes always water this time of year. I wiped away at my eyes with the sleeve of my robe and smiled at my son. “Did you brush your teeth?” I peeked out the garage door once more to make sure the bus driver didn’t randomly decide to show up at our stop early again. It was an early work day for me, which meant no time to drive my son to school if he missed the bus.
He shook his head at me, mumbling something about forgetting the importance of dental hygiene, I’m sure. I signaled at the stairs while nearly growling at him. “Go! Hurry.”
While my favorite weather by far is warm and sunny, there’s something refreshing about this time of year. The weather is cool, but not yet freezing. The trees still have leaves, only they’ve changed to beautiful warm hues of gold and red and orange and amber. The days are shorter, but the cool evenings are still enjoyable with the addition of a hoodie. Then there’s the holidays, the decorations, and the food! Crock pots all over are being dusted off, made-from-scratch soups are filling homes with warm, comforting smells, and baked goods are making a comeback without anyone complaining about the unwanted oven heat.
Fall Porch Decorations
This year, I decided to reintroduce my daughter to the witch in our basement. I’ve had this 5-foot tall singing, dancing, green-faced beaut for 7 or 8 years, and she still makes me smile. Halloween can be such a fun and silly time of year, but for some kids, it can also be a frightening time when all the neighborhood houses morph into haunted attractions and even their friends and loved ones themselves hide their familiar faces with scary masks. Since I was always terrified of masked costumes as a child–as well as a million other seemingly innocuous things–I’m very understanding when my kids are also scared.
If you think about it, everything in life is new to a child, so seeing someone with a mask or a spooky decoration on a house might be very scary and confusing to a small child. Because I know this, I wanted to make my youngest feel as comfortable as possible with Halloween right around the spiderweb-entrenched corner. I made a point to talk about the witches and monsters and other spooky things that she might see in the coming weeks, and told her how silly and funny these things are. Taking away some of the mystery has helped my daughter cope with the scary decorations and pictures. Before reintroducing her to the witch downstairs, I talked about the silly witch with her green skin and big, funny eyes. I showed her the cord and the switches and the mechanics underneath her black dress. I showed her where the on/off button was and how to adjust the volume. I even showed her that she’s not real by showing her where the head comes off. Then I told her how silly it all was and how these funny things sometimes make us jump and laugh. This Halloween, I’m hoping my daughter will be less afraid of people in masks and interactive decorations. So far, so good. The witch is on our front porch and every time my daughter sees her, she wants to “make it dance” while she jumps and laughs.
Last night, we did the same thing for our 5-year-old neighbor who was also a little apprehensive about the witch. I showed him all her buttons and tricks, and how to make her dance and sing. He now thinks it’s the funniest thing ever! I’m so glad, because I want to see lots of trick-or-treaters this year! Otherwise, I have to eat all the candy myself.
(P.S. Does it drive anyone else crazy that my wreath is off-center in these pics? Just me? Thought so…)
Proof that my 3-year-old isn’t afraid of the witch: the water all over the porch! Who else do you think spills that much when watering a few flower pots?