I love this time of year. If I could freeze time and live in any month for the rest of my life, have a Groundhog Month if you will, I would live in October. I can’t find anything wrong with it. I get all four seasons in one month. I can still eat fruits and veggies from summer and I can start cooking soups and breads to get cozy on those cold nights. It might rain, but not a lot. It’s warm. And cold. We can still go to the beach and wine country is in its prime. But more than anything, I love Halloween. I love magic and mystery.
As a kid, during October, I spent my walks home from school swearing I saw fairies flitting in the falling leaves and goblins scurrying on the dark branches in the trees and that every rock was the home of a small troll. And I knew that on Halloween I was going to magically transform into the latest creature of my imagination and defy the laws of gravity and the universe to do whatever I wanted during my brief time as a Fill-In-The-Blank. Nothing was impossible. And nothing needed an explanation. It was perfectly fine if someone wanted to be a mummy princess or punk rock zombie. Nothing had to fit into the confines of our rules.
Our kids have offered a whole new perspective on magic. It’s everywhere and it’s not just about a holiday. To them, so much in the world is magical because they don’t have the comprehension of science, yet. I especially noticed it this summer on our trip to Iowa and watching Carter’s first firefly hunt. He just giggled and giggled and ran and giggled some more. He brought me a container full of fireflies, all of them flashing their little green behinds like crazy. Carter’s eyes were wide, his grin even wider. I asked him what made their little behinds light up like that. And he whispered, “Magic, Mommy.”
And then a couple of weeks ago we finally fulfilled a promise we made to Carter and Mitchell and let them ride in the convertible. Do you remember the first time you rode in a convertible or a motorcycle or a boat or anything that went fast and blew the wind through your hair and made you squint your eyes because of the cool air on your face? I remember riding in my cousin’s jeep with the top off and thinking, “Why the hell doesn’t everyone drive a jeep?!?!” I loved it. There was something about driving a car without a top (or sides in this case). It broke The Rules and invited an up-close interaction with the world around me that engaged my entire being, sense of wonder and didn’t demand an explanation because it was just…So…Cool.
It was magical.
One of the greatest gifts of being a parent is having a front-row seat to a child’s endless stream of “firsts” and encounters with “magic.” Most of them end up ingrained in our memories, maybe we are lucky enough to remember to write them in a journal or baby book, but the real gift is when we happen to catch that moment in a picture or video. We did just that when Carter and Mitchell rode in the convertible for the first time:
And later that day, I asked Carter what he thought of riding in the convertible and he said in his excited four-year-old voice, “It’s magic!” Thank you, My Little Love, for reminding me that magic is still everywhere, all the time. And although my tendency is to jump in with a scientific lesson about why the firefly’s little behind lights up or follow-up your convertible ride with a lesson on driving safety, I will try very hard to keep magic alive for you because all of those lessons will come soon enough. There’s no rush. And I will be on the lookout for more ways to bring magic into your life.
I hope you, reader, find some magic today, too. Go for a bike ride, put the top down or just drive with your windows open. And be on the lookout for fairies in the falling leaves…you never know!