I love fall. There is something special about this time of year. Whether it's the smell, the weather, or the two great holiday's, Autumn is awesome. Even while living in L.A. I loved this season. Halloween was always fun, but the culmination of the season with Thanksgiving has always given me a warm fuzzy feeling. Or possibly it was the cooling weather and the high winds that always made it feel different than the hellish heat during the summer months that contributed to my love of the season. Not that October or even November are that cool in Southern California, but it always felt different and wonderful.
Living in Colorado has given me the opportunity to really appreciate the seasons. The feel and smells of Fall are more intense. The trees start to turn these beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow, then they literally litter the ground. Even with the cooling weather that sometimes brings us snow and ice, familiar winds rush over the Front Range making it feel like the Santa Ana's of my home town.
Something happens when one reaches adulthood. Holidays kinda lose their luster. No longer does one anticipate the joy of Trick or Treating or a visit from Santa Claus. So in that in between time of young adult until parenthood, holidays kinda are a nuisance. But the magic seems to come back when you become a parent. Watching your child's eyes light up as she picks a pumpkin or listening to her talk about the animals she pet at the pumpkin patch makes Halloween special again. Baking Halloween cupcakes (thanks Kelly for the Vanilla Cupcake Recipe) and cookies is a special bonding time between Mom and Daughter. Anticipation of Halloween trick or treating in a Monkey costume makes me anticipate the day just as much as Cookie does.
Of course the one thing I hate about fall is the cold snowy days pushing us indoors, when we were used to being outdoors, but something about Colorado makes this okay. Today we had clear skies and perfect 80 degree weather. It was a day to enjoy the outdoors. And so, I talked hubby into taking a bike hiatus and make a trip to Denver Zoo.
Cookie has been asking to go to the Zoo, so I thought, before the weather gets too cold, before it is too miserable to venture outside, we should go. It was the perfect day. We told Cookie we were going some where fun, but it was a surprise. By now, Cookie knows what the parking lot of the Zoo looks like. So when we pulled in, her sheer joy and excitement brought tears to my eyes. In the past she was only good for about an hour and a half before she crashed in exhaustion. Today, Cookie ran from exhibit to exhibit, walking the entire time for three hours!
It was the perfect day, ending with a train and a carousal ride. Last time we went to the Zoo, Cookie wanted to go on the carousal but got too scared when it came time to get on. This time, she had her Daddy to hold her hand, talk her through it, and she was scared and exhilarated at the same time. It probably would have been wiser for us to get prepared for winter on this warm October weekend, but giving one's child joy is much more rewarding. While Thanksgiving had been my favorite holiday, because it was the most non-religious of holidays, I think Halloween might replace it. There is just so much fun for my little girls to have. So the next time the holiday's get you down, find a carousal and take a ride. It will probably leave you with a smile.