It was a strange October. I’m not sure I will miss it. I’m going to say why, and then “Good-bye!”
My husband and I had our third wedding anniversary, though we didn’t do anything special to celebrate. We know that skipping the celebration is potentially bad for our relationship, but we also accept that having two children in three years comes with a price, and that price is a lack of time and energy. As the children grow more and more independent, we begin to feel the weight lifting, the tension easing, and time freeing itself up. All of that energy and time is ours to channel any way we want. We are now channeling some of it toward ourselves. We have plans for a date night on Saturday. Already November is shaping up to be a better month.
Since moving to this forested area, I have learned to love Fall not just as a noun, but also as a verb. I used to think of Fall as existing in two states. First it was the changing colors of the leaves on the trees, and then it was the leaves on the ground, but I neglected the distance and time between. Now Fall is also the leaves as they are actively falling, slow and meandering, sometimes almost dancing, to the ground. It has added a whole new dimension to my enjoyment of the season. So far this year, though, there hasn’t been much leaf dancing. So many of the trees are still green!
What has fallen, unfortunately, are large tree limbs, victims of an October nor’easter. These old oaks could not bear the weight of heavy snow on their leaves, and so some of their branches came crashing down. I heard them falling in the night, but I did not know until morning, when I surveyed the damage from my office window, how many there were and how close to our house, or that one had fallen on our car. While there’s now an ugly dent in our car, we didn’t lose power or heat. We were fortunate where so many others were not. The snow has mostly melted away now, but those limbs remain on the ground, a silent reminder of the storm that temporarily transported us to winter, long before we were done with the Fall.
Usually I get a thrill from October. The foliage, the smell of leaves and acorns, and the chilly air—they all smack of change, of an old cycle coming to an end and a new one soon to begin. But the changes of October are usually gentle. We put away the thoughts and accoutrements of summer, and prepare to cozy down in our warm dens for the winter. We do not expect big storms, outside or in.
The falling out that I had with my friend in October was as shocking as the limbs falling from our great oaks. I suppose given that October’s changes are usually of the cyclical kind, I should consider the possibility that the friendship is not over, but rather coming into a new phase. I make no predictions. I only know that I do not have what it takes to forgive her at this moment.
Then came Halloween. I waited until about a week before the holiday so that I could buy costumes for the kids at a good price. I was a little concerned when I saw how small the selection was, but then I spotted a monkey costume, and it was the right size for Marshall. He loves monkeys! Then I saw the giraffe costume, and it was the right size for Livia. What luck! I paid only $17 for a pair of costumes that would originally have cost $66! At least October brought me a good bargain.
The kids’ costumes not only fit, but they were fitting. Every day around here is like a zoo, so it was fun to see our children finally dressed like the wild animals that they really are. Living Halloween through my children, I think I may come to love the holiday again, like I did when I was a kid. I’m not ashamed to live vicariously through my kids. Isn’t that part of why we have them?
Halloween was the last and the best day of October. It is the only day I would do over, just so I could enjoy it some more. As for the rest of the month, I’m glad it’s done.
Good-bye, October. Come back better next year. OK?