You make me smile….

I am-at the heart of it-nothing but a big kid.  I love holidays,celebrations, birthday parties, surprises, puppies, Harry Potter, Beatrix Potter, snow cones and summer vacation. I also love to watch animated movies and holiday specials on TV.  When my husband rolls his eyes I tell him that one day he will regret it when I grow up-something I am not planning on anytime soon.

I grew up in a family that did the whole Halloween thing.  We weren’t the ones with the haunted houses in our garage but my mom made sure to decorate the place up right.  She also made my costumes. The last one I remember was when I was 12/13.  I was a scarecrow and the itchy, dry smell of the burlap she used to make the clothes comes back to me in an instant.  I had a funky patchwork had, scarecrow face paint and a yellow straggly yarn wig that matched the cuffs and spats to complete the look.

I loooooved that costume! I was also aware that it just might be my last because I felt juuuuussst a little too old to be dressing up.  I wanted to cling to that fun feeling that went with the whole process so I went with it.  That Halloween won’t go down in history as an amazing one-that’s for sure! My mom managed to schedule October 31-hello, the candy holiday of all candy holidays-for my braces to be put on. So, there I was all decked out as the awesomest scarecrow ever to hand out Halloween candy ’cause I couldn’t close my mouth let alone eek out the words ‘Trick or Treat’ without a lisp. If I remember correctly it even hurt to blink.

It may not have been ‘epic’ by today’s standards but it was still sweet. I needed braces, badly, so I really wasn’t all that broken up about it. Did I mention that I loved that hand made costume?  My mom and I never had a great relationship and when I am surprised by a great memory like this it feels like such a gift-one I want to sit with awhile before slowing wrapping it back up and putting it away to be rediscovered again some other time.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my daughter and her family.  She gets me.  On the docket? Pumpkin carving, Pumpkin Pie (naked for me for the GF thing), home brew to keep the hubs-both of them-happy, spiced wonderfulness of all sorts and as a bonus we brought a bottle of bubbly along for a little celebration of some great news (I’ll spill later). If I didn’t know better I would swear that she ordered up the most beautiful fall weather just for us.

I watched my 18 month old grand daughter paint her little pumpkin, my hubs clean pumpkins for baking(he’s too practical to ‘waste a perfectly good pumpkin’…I am not) and the rest of us carved away to reveal comical, skeletal creations that made my grands eyes grow big when she saw them lit up. A few toasts to celebrate new adventures, lots of laughs watching tiny hands trying to separate seeds from the sticky innards left behind and stuffed with pie to the eyebrows we headed home in the gloaming light. I am filled to the brim with gratitude for the simple pleasures of life.

I had one of those polish my knuckles on the shoulder moments driving home yesterday. I’ve never felt super successful as a mom-I tend to remember the things I wish I would have done better or differently-but I had a moment of sighing satisfaction. There was no plastic, vibrating, howling craziness-just plain and good pleasure. And lots of smiles.  OH, and I came home with a jack-o-lantern! His smile greeted me this morning and was a reminder of a wonderful day, of the awkward scarecrow with braces that became the mim with gray hair (that’s me not a costume), of little hands covered in paint and pumpkin innards, of pie glorious pie and most especially of the incredible and simple gift of spending time with the ones I love.  I hope that one day they too can unpack memories of their own from yesterday and relish the beauty of that time.

So, yeah, what does this have to do with me being a big kid? Not much other than as we were leaving I offered my pumpkin to our little punkin’ and my daughter said ‘I know how much you love this stuff, you’ll enjoy this at your place-take him home’ and she’s right. I do and I did. Hence the smile on my face-even before I had coffee!

Wishing you a smile-no matter how small or how silly-for your Monday-

Enjoy the AND because that is where the journey is happening-


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