I can’t help but feel, though the calendar tells me otherwise, that November first is the first day of winter– the day that Autumn wraps up her golds and crimsons and graciously steps aside to give the season over to her frosty sister. Oh, the colors are still glowing on many of the trees and the sun is still warming the late afternoon sky, but I can feel it…the folding in, the battening down, the fast approach of cold and snow. We have enjoyed these days, this gift of Autumn glory…with field trips to the corn maze with our homeschool friends, days spent raking and playing in the leaves (mostly playing!) and moments just enjoying the last of the warm sun falling on our shoulders.
I am a true scrooge when it comes to Halloween, and the children don’t mind skipping that tradition. In fact, it bothers them that when we go shopping, we have to pick our way around gruesome decorations and rubber skeletons for the whole month of October (and, increasingly, September as well!). But when a friend of mine told me that the kids explained, when asked if we usually carve a Jack-o-lantern, that no…Mommy just buys pumpkins, roasts them and makes them into food….well, I felt a bad. Not that we don’t do Halloween, not at all. It was just that I realized that sometimes I am given to being so practical that I forget to really enjoy things, and sometimes my kids miss out on things that might be fun.
So this year, I let the girls carve a pumpkin. They wanted to make a cat, in honor of the kitten we have frisking around the house this year. They enjoyed it, it was fun to photograph the light glowing around them, and I felt good about letting fun trump practicality for a moment.
And yes, I baked and pureed the other pumpkin we bought. It’s in the freezer, waiting to be made into soups and breads and pies this Winter. I can’t help it. Every time I see a Jack-o-lantern I just think: that’s a lot of wasted squash!