Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Back to school, football, the hint of the upcoming holiday season—there’s just something about the newness and the change in the crisp autumn air. But now that my youngest is in his senior year of college, my empty nest seems a little emptier—especially with all the child-related activities going on these days.
Luckily, my grandchildren live within driving distance. So whenever I get that urge to experience life through their eyes, all I have to do is call my kids and tell them (or warn them) that Nana is coming to town.
Last weekend, it was my daughter’s turn for a visit and I had a chance to spend some quality time with my two beautiful—and energetic—grandsons. Robby, my oldest, plays flag football. And as I cheered for him and his team, it brought back all those wonderful memories of my own high school days and those Friday night lights.
Next we went shopping. The kids didn’t seem to grasp the concept that just because it was nearly October, they still had more than four weeks left before Halloween. My daughter was no help in the patience department and assured me that we needed to act fast because “all the good costumes are sold out by mid October.” So Nana grabbed her purse and off we went.
I was amazed to see the store all decked out in full pumpkin and candy and black wig regalia. Do you remember back when we used to find an old shirt, some face paint, and maybe our grandfather’s hat in the back of the closet then slap it all on with a belt and call it a day? Or what about those homemade costumes, lovingly sewed by mothers who aced their home economics classes? Not today. Now, it’s almost cheaper to buy a ready-made outfit off the rack than to create it yourself.
And the candy options? We were lucky to get homemade cookies, popcorn balls, and caramel apples. But not anymore. My grandsons, especially Max, eyed those jumbo-sized bags of pre-made sugar rush and strategized about which houses would have their favorite Kit Kat bars and how many Skittles they could fit in the orange plastic pumpkin they’d be lugging around on the big night.
But at least I’ll be prepared when eight Batmans and thirteen princesses in identical costumes come ringing my doorbell. Or better yet, maybe I’ll grab a good book, kiss my husband, and tell him it’s his turn to answer the door this year!