I have lived in the Northeast for much of my life, and one of the things I love most is autumn. Even though it means shorter days and colder weather, I enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of the season. The changing of leaves and the crackling sound they make when you step on them. Transitioning to hot coffee and biting into a freshly picked apple. Putting the air conditioner away and bundling under a comforter at night. However, for my kids the shift to autumn is more of a love/hate relationship. Here are the things they look forward to and the parts of autumn they would gladly do without.
Anything Related to a Farm
My kids love all things rural in the fall. Apple and pumpkin picking, (Dame Farm and Barden Orchards are our favorites), hayrides, and corn mazes. I am a fan of these things as well, with the exception of a corn maze. I have never understood the desire to get lost and wander aimlessly in a land where GPS will not help you.
Apple cider and cider donuts are more valuable than gold in my house. We break out the hot chocolate as well. Pumpkin spice is a favorite…to a point. I enjoy a pumpkin spice coffee and the kids like it in butternut squash soup or applesauce, but the other day I saw pumpkin spice throat lozenges. The line has to be drawn somewhere. This is also the time of year when we switch over to comfort foods. My crockpot comes out of hiding and lots of stews and soups show up on the table.
Football Season – Enough Said
Aside from Chrismukkah, our December holiday mashup, Halloween is my kids’ favorite holiday. The ideas for costumes start flowing in September and we love our holiday tradition of trick-or-treating with friends. It is also the one time of year I can indulge in my love of candy corn.
Back to School
While I love a good trip to buy school supplies, my kids dread the school year starting. Getting out of summer mode is a challenge – earlier mornings, heavy backpacks, and actually needing to learn something. Once they get back in the routine they are fine. It just takes a couple of weeks of adjustment.
Cooler Weather and Heavier Clothing
Both of my children would wear shorts and T-shirts all year if they were allowed. My daughter insists that her school is warm and therefore she can wear a short sleeve shirt under her heavy coat. They want to go out in a light sweatshirt until December. I, on the other hand, relish the days when I can start to cover up again. Three months is more than enough time to expose my legs to the public.
While we all look forward to the holiday season we are baffled by stores that start displaying Christmas items in September. Let us get through Back to School before the onslaught of Rudolph and mistletoe.
This is probably the hardest autumn adjustment. We love being able to come home in the summer and still have time to play outside or take a walk after dinner as the sun is setting. Getting home and having to go right in the house is a sad time for us and that is when we see winter right around the corner.
Autumn is a special time, and even with the few things we do not like, we would never want to live somewhere without it. Enjoy your apple picking and Pumpkin Spice Cheerios!