This past weekend I was lucky enough to partake in one of the falliest fall events one can partake in: the pumpkin patch. I wore old jeans and halloween sweatshirts, and trudged through muddy fields and my hair whipped through with crisp wind and dust, and I rode on the little wagon out to the field and petted the baby goats penned in their stall.
And then, as if the day couldn’t get any better, my mom and I found a pumpkin perfectly shaped like a booty and laughed all the way home, holding our butt pumpkin proudly. And while the goats and the wagon and the prize pumpkin were nice, what really made the day special was that I got to spend it with my mom. It all reminded me of how great autumn was as a kid, especially, with all the colors and possibility and warm apple cider you didn’t have to microwave yourself.
Here’s some other reasons why autumn was the best as a kid, puffy jackets and all.
Because of all those crunchy leaves we jumped in
Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats a quality leaf pile. There’s no comparable feeling to that of running and leaping and falling into a mound of crunchy colors and staring up at the sky above you as you make leaf angels and listen to the distant shouts of your dad telling you that you better rake those back to the way you found them. LOL, silly dads, don’t they know that leaves are for jumping?
The pumpkin patch adventures
I know I mentioned this earlier, but pumpkin patches are literally the best as a kid. They’re fun as adults, and I fully recommend that you hit one up and find your own butt pumpkin; however, it’s never quite the same as when you were little. For starters, your tolerance for annoyance is a lot lower. When you’re a kid you don’t mind the mud or the dust or the screaming children or the stray pieces of hay getting stuck in your shoes and overpriced gourds. You don’t realize how dirty the goats you’re petting are or how long you’ve been waiting for the wagon ride to start or how foolish you were to not pack a snack (your mom took care of that for you, you lucky duck). As an adult, all of that hits you about 30 minutes in and suddenly you’re ready for that nap you fought all those years.
The hopping in puddles
Another ode to jumping, but this one involves mud! Yay mud! Yay cute little rain boots that kept your feet dry-ish and made that whooping sound when you landed just right! Autumn means rain and rain means puddles and puddles mean endless hours of entertainment jumping from puddle to puddle and splashing your friends. I still love puddle jumping, but as an adult your friends are much less tolerant of being splashed and your shoes are much more weary of water damage. You can still jump, but it involves a certain amount of planning and that kind of defeats the whole purpose of an impromptu romp through the waterways.
Recess when the air changed
Oh man sometimes I forget that recess is still a thing. No one gives you a half an hour to run around like a maniac and accidentally slap yourself with a jumprope when you’re a grownup (although they definitely should). Recess was always the best time, but there was something decidedly magical about those couple weeks when the seasons changed and you got to wear your new coat and gloves and roll around in the wet grass. Awh, recess.
The autumn class crafts
Class craft projects were always the best because they disrupted learning and gave you something to do with your hands that was equal parts messy and creative. My personal favorite were the glitter leaves wherein you decorated a leaf caracas with shiny things and presented it to your mom and she was basically obligated to love it.
The Halloween TV specials
Can we just take a moment to appreciate all the wonderful TV and movie specials afforded us during the autumn season? 13 nights of Halloween? Hocus Pocus? Halloweentown one and two and (when the mood strikes) three? (We don’t mention the fourth one and the fake Marnie they tried to trick us with.) The Disney Channel Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens specials and the incredibly well-made Scooby Doo scary movies?? It’s too much to handle I’m sweating just thinking about it.
The high-stakes trick-or-treat battles with your friends
Remember running through dark, slippery streets with your capes flying behind you, elbowing children out of the way and making your parents increasingly nervous for your safety and sanity all for the chance to be the one to ring the doorbell and get first pick of the candy bowl? Remember how you squealed with joy when That One Amazing Neighbor sprung for the king sized Kit-Kats and it made your candy bucket so much heavier and so much happier? Remember dumping out your treasures at the end of the night and swapping and trading and negotiating your way to the Twix bar you’d been lusting after and pining for? Remember bringing a couple of pieces to school in your lunch every day for weeks and showing off to your friends? Awh, candy-coated-cavity-filled memories.
Picking out your Halloween costume was a big deal
Don’t get me wrong, you can still dress up as an adult, but it’s not quite the same as when you were a kid. You have to be more mindful of how you look and how cold you’re going to get and who exactly will be at the Halloween party you’re attending and will they even understand that you’re Sailor Moon or will you spend the whole night trying to explain it to drunk adults while humming the theme song and acting out action scenes? It’s not like that as a kid. You get an idea and you follow it, whether that ends up with you dressing like a princess or a hot dog. It was always the best time. Always.
(Images via Flickr, Giphy)