Fall is here, everyone. That’s right—it has descended upon us in all of its soggy, brown glory, whether you and I like it or not. I personally like to think of Fall as the “‘70s” of the seasons. You know—with all of the oranges, browns, golds and reds, and the fact that the pants we put on our children all have a short, flared “bell-bottom”-like quality because we are just now realizing that they need to wear pants again but that they grew out of all those pants during the summer. Also, we keep trying to attempt wearing that one turtleneck we have, even though turtlenecks will never be in fashion again. (Okay maybe it’s just me who wants that. But I look good in that turtleneck, darn it!). And we keep trying to wear sunglasses, even though the sun is GONE, people. You agree with me now, don’t you? It truly IS that 70s season; all it’s missing is Topher and Ashton.
I really like many elements of Fall, actually. I love the cozyness of staying inside with a book and a warm drink, and the excuse to not exercise (“Well, I simply CAN’T go for a run, NOW!? Thanks a lot, rain!!” (Winks at the sky and whispers, “No, really, thank you.”)) Of course, Jac no longer has that excuse, because she joined a GYM. Foolish, foolish woman. But I digress.
Fall is cozy. And Fall presents the opportunity to consume way more delicious, hot beverages per day than were ever socially acceptable to consume in the summertime. (Me: “Hey, everyone, why don’t we go out for coffee?” Everyone: “Coffee?! Yuck! We’re going for Gelato, because it’s summertime. We’d invite you, but you’re clearly crazy.”)
In addition, being PALE is more acceptable in the fall! As a very pale, nay, nearly translucent, human being, this is exciting for me. I can hide my pale legs under stockings or leggings on the rare occasions that I wear skirts. I don’t have to stand beside those tanned people in all my ghostly glory, while others comment on the stark contrast. I should clarify—I don’t want to be tanned ANYWAY, okay? Sun protection is where it’s AT—I’m not jealous of your J-Lo glow.*
Also: mulled wine. You can drink mulled wine in the fall, while wearing your turtleneck and your flared, too short, out-of-date pants, all under your crocheted blanket and NO ONE will think that you are a weird, old hippie, because it is FALL. It’s the ‘70s, my friends.
However, if you’re like me and you have small children, Fall, and the reasons for enjoying Fall, have changed somewhat. Hot drinks, when finally consumed, are rarely still hot (unless you hide in the closet—that’s a little trick for you, you’re welcome, use it sparingly.) And if you are like me and feel that it is a crime to microwave coffee (or wine, for that matter), having children has taken some of the fun out of hot drinks.
Sitting under a blanket in front of the fire and reading a good book is not really the same anymore, either. This is because if any part of you is even slightly horizontal (such as your lap. Or your shoulders. Or your head), your children will clamber upon you, arms full of their own books and blankets and stuffies. You will be putting down your own riveting book before you know it, in favour of reading Angelina Ballerina to your four-year-old. And you will find yourself becoming irritated because Angelina always gets the best role in the ballet. What about her faithful companion, Alice? Or Penelope, for that matter? Penelope may be mean, but she has good reason to be—she is always put in the chorus, and never centre stage! But, again, I digress.
So Fall has changed for me, as it has for all parents in this season of life, the season of family-with-young-children. Finding indoor activities that will allow me to be cozy and in front of the fire and not climbed upon is currently the best scenario, but not always what I get to experience. Today I was up and about playing Ursula to S’s Ariel, and it involved a lot more energy than I had counted on expending (Me: “What I want from you is … *cough, cough*… your VOICE!” S: “No! You can’t have it!” (Runs away) “Chase me, mommy!”)
But the neat part is that I am finding myself enjoying Fall for different reasons, now. For one thing, it is so nice to feel a little head, resting on your shoulder and listening to you read while the rain rages outside and the lamp light is warm, and the blankets are soft. It’s fun to sit on the couch with my family and play video games or watch a movie, and laugh together while we stuff popcorn in our faces. I like to watch the cheeks of my kids from behind, curving into smiles as they experience for the first time the humour and joy, warmth and laughter of the movies that I loved when I was a kid. There is even some joy in being Ursula, tentacles flailing around while following the frantic giggles of a bouncing blond-headed Ariel around the house. At least I’ve got Ursula’s paleness down cold.
So it’s a different season this year for me, Fall, as I’m sure it is for others. But I hope we’re not all so bummed out by not being able to send our kids outside (as much) that we can’t embrace what Fall has to offer. Just put away those sunglasses and pull out the mulled wine, my friends! It’s the ‘70s of the seasons—let’s make it groovy.
*Okay, I am a tiny bit jealous of it.