The Fabulous Fall

IMG_1979Some things never lose their luster, fall is one of them. It is one of my favorite seasons, but for the past two years, the beauty of the fall has come and gone, obscured by the busyness of life.

Fall has been robbed by back to school and sports and birthdays and the general busyness of the beginning of the year.  In fact, I find it hard to believe that there was a time when I would pass crowded soccer fields, Columbus Day weekend, and declare that we would never spend a holiday weekend on a soccer field, and I remember exactly when I said it. It was right before this weekend spent down the shore, two years ago, our last visit to a corn maze.

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No, holidays were for traveling, or at least, getting out of town for the weekend.

Unfortunately, corn mazes and pumpkin picking has slowly been replaced with the exact sport I swore we would not travel with, soccer, and worse, we added flag football to the mix, which keeps us on fields most Saturdays and Sundays.

Don’t get me wrong, the kids are enjoying the sports.  We are enjoying watching them play, but a fall weekend off, would be greatly appreciated.

Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed my daughter’s class trip to the pumpkin farm so much. I had taken this trip, before, when both my sons were in preschool, but I hadn’t been back since. Look how little!

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Little Lady didn’t go to a preschool that did class trips, or invite parents to their parties, and, frankly, at the time, I was glad. My few hours alone were my most treasured time.

But times change, and with both boys, now, in school full-time and Little Lady going four mornings a week, I was actually looking forward to a year of class parties, field trips, Christmas concerts, and Easter Egg Hunts, all things absent from my daughter’s last preschool.

So, on Friday, Little Lady and I enjoyed our first fall outing to the pumpkin farm and she loved it! And you know what? I loved it too!

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I can tell you this about being a mom of three kids, things definitely change from your first to your last. Gone were the days when I had, at least, two kids with me, and so, was never really able to concentrate on one. Gone were the days where I felt that I had to socialize and meet people and so would encourage my child to come play over here, where other mothers had congregated. Gone were the days when I worried that my kid had no interest in playing with anyone.

None of that matters to me, anymore.

Instead, I just relished in my daughter’s happiness, in her bravery at climbing tires, running through corn mazes, and wanting to feed alpacas.

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Even though we actually drove with another mom and her daughter, she played by herself and I took pictures of her. She didn’t care if we rode in the same truck to pick the pumpkins as her friend, and frankly, when the other mother kept insisting that her daughter, who wanted to take a different wagon back, go on the same truck with us, I told her it was not necessary. Not that we aren’t happy to have friends, because we are, but neither my daughter nor I needed someone to talk or sit with. We were pretty content to just be.

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As we drove home, I remarked to the other mother what a beautiful day it was, and it dawned on me that sadly, that might be the last time I go pumpkin picking. Without it pre-set in a preschool calendar, I can easily see it succumbing to the busyness that is the fall. And even without all the fanfare of sports and school, a trip to the pumpkin farm eventually loses its luster to growing kids.

You know, I agonized over where to send my daughter to school (you can read about it here and here, if you want ) and in the end, I didn’t really have a choice. I don’t know if I ever finished the story, but we didn’t get into mornings in the public preschool. That left me with one choice.  It turns out that that was the best thing that could have happened.

Happy Weekend.

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