While, I’ll admit, there were evening practice rounds of ‘trick-or-treat’ in the days leading up to Halloween, I set my expectations fairly low regarding the potential of Jackson’s happiness with the holiday mirroring my own. After all, he is only two and last year’s Halloween baby was a stoic one.
Imagine my surprise (and sheer maternal exuberance!) when he showcased that he not only got the concept of trading candy for looking cute, but that he could also sustain an All-Hallow’s-Eve-routine worthy of any seasoned seven year-old:
- Run ahead of Mom, making sure to shuffle through dried leaves along the way
- Wait for Mom to catch up with requisite pumpkin
- Pumpkin in hand, it’s time for the sugar swap!
- Inspect candy for prolonged time at point of interception
- Escape subsequent crowd & drop pumpkin off in stroller ’till the next stop
The kid was a pro! I was elated to see him so into it! Stir in hoardes of additional adorable costumes and the generous decor and coffee-offerings served up by gracious treat-seeker-hosts and we ended up with the recipe for a pretty perfect night. (^_^ )
‘Tis the Season
Another recent adventure inspired by the literal and proverbial ‘spirit’ of the season was the decision to indulge in a scary-movie-sleep-over at the Highams the weekend leading up to Halloween. This included sock/sword fights, a blanket fort and a screening of Paranormal Activity 2 (post bed-time for Baby J, of course). Gotta say – I reaaaaally liked the PA sequel (though Texas Chainsaw Massacre still holds top terror spot in my book).
One other experience seemed to invoke the spirit of the season, at least atmospherically… Check out these pics of what rapid weather shifts in MI can render! It was sunny on the drive out to Wilderness State Park, where we watched the stunning storm clouds roll in then – BOOM! – it starts hailing!
From there, we went rainbow-chasing (naturally, right??). I’m happy to report that we spotted two! They didn’t last long, though, because the clouds parted just as quickly as they rolled in. We rounded that trip out with an early dinner at Polish Kitchen (my favorite Up North ‘comfort food’) followed by delectable coffee @ the adorably-appointed Roast & Toast cafe (hot chai + almond & hazelnut = “I’ll be back”).
The weeks leading up to Halloween also included regular walks by the Bay and an Old Mission Peninsula color-tour. There’s nothing quite like taking a sandbar footpath a half mile out into Lake Michigan and watching the waters roll in from all around you (enjoyed on smaller scale at this similar spot in near-by Elk Rapids).
As a matter of fact, we were lucky enough to get to share both of those spots with John Metal-Moore-phosis during his visit with us over the week of Jim’s birthday. It was great to catch up with an old friend in a new place! The Indian Summer John brought with him afforded us one final round of warm-weather kayaking and beach wading.
The weekend leading up to all of this and immediately following Jim’s first official fishing adventure, JC3 and friends had the privilege of pumpkin poaching and apple picking at Rennie Orchard. It was a surreal, small-town-America experience that was worthy of it’s own blog post, but I’ve been slipping! Hopefully these pictures adequately convey the cider-sipping, pumpkin-picking magic that was our early-October tour.
Other early October milestones included Jackson starting preschool (introducing a much-needed peer group to Jackson and some child-duty-free work time to Jim & I) and our family’s 1st baby-sitter experience. These were both big deals for me, as I’d previously had the priviledge of relying on Nana as Baby J’s caretaker in both arrangements (Nana – you are appreciated!). Both arrangements turned out admittedly well, minus some tears (both mine and Jackson’s) during the first few preschool drop-offs. He’s liking preschool so much now that we’ve upped his enrollment to 4 days a week and plan to add Fridays come the New Year (I’m avoiding baby-withdrawl via a step-down approach) 😉
And I guess that brings this blog post full-circle… It’s so bittersweet to witness Jackson’s little world expanding. I relish every new experience he has right along with him, while simultaneously cringing knowing that with each passing day his independence of me grows.
“There is no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval.”
– George Santayana
That’s what this is all about, right? That’s Why Michigan.