Happy November, friends. Happy beginning of this month to gather and be grateful. We start this month off in our home by reading my favorite children’s book for the season, Cynthia Rylant’s In November. I want to crawl inside this book and live in its pages, I want to hug the author for sewing together all the feels of this season and putting them into poetry.
“In November, people are good to each other. They carry pies to each other’s homes and talk by crackling woodstoves, sipping mellow cider. They travel very far on a special November day just to share a meal with one another and to give thanks for their many blessings – for the food on their tables and the babies in their arms.” ~Cynthia Rylant
The food on our table last night was our annual Halloween chili, and the babies don’t really fit in our arms anymore, but we definitely count them as our greatest blessings.
And Halloween night will always call for recognition that this gig of raising children–of planning costumes and class parties; running last-minute to the craft store to pick up felt for that one last touch on that dress; of hanging spider webs on bushes five minutes before the first trick-or-treaters arrive because–according to your kid–your house didn’t look “Halloweeny” enough; of holding small hands through dark streets, weaving between clowns and princesses and letting go to watch them run–taller, braver, more confident this year; of coming home to sort piles of candy, trade Sugar Babies for Milk Duds, costume for pajamas; of tucking them in with a “that was fun”…this is our greatest adventure, and no matter how old they are or how we tuck them in at night–in their beds or in our heads, it always makes me gasp with deep appreciation that I get to do this–love them, watch them, dip my toes into their world of imagination and excitement. I love it so much.
This year, we had a very happy Poppy troll who was thrilled out of her mind when she saw herself in the mirror with this. And I was thrilled that it cost less than $10 to throw together.
And a sprinkle donut who kept telling me that she loved her make-up job.
…and an Italian chef who yelled “Mama Mia!” after every “Trick-or-treat.”
I urged him to leave his pasta pot at home, but he burst into tears and begged to bring it, so he ran up to houses clutching a giant pot.
Oh, I’m sorry, did I say housES? I meant house. One house. One house before this:
I went as Fall. Mother Fall. Mother Loving Fall. Mother Fu–. Well, nevermind. Just Fall.
We are sugared up good and so ready for November, and our house has been “cleared for landing.” You know, spiders and skeletons removed in preparation for the decorations of all decorations.
A few more from last night:
Nella was so happy to have her friend with her and, for the first year ever, didn’t ask to go home early.
The juxtaposition of hearing about yesterday’s terror attack in New York City while we were nestled in our neighborhood enjoying another year of memories, surrounded by friends and the police car that slowly traveled around our neighborhood, blaring “Ghost Busters” and waving to the kids..it was jarring. And while we lean in to the comforts of our family and the responsibility of fostering a childhood for our kids that is the opposite of these headlines; we listen, offer our hearts to the victims and our hands to the work of making love prevail.
Wishing love to all of you out there as we begin this month of gratitude and gathering.