My son is 17 months old today. Time has flown by and it feels like yesterday he still loved being cuddled by his mother and carried everywhere. Now it’s all we can do to keep up with him as he runs as fast as his legs will churn from one room to the next chasing the dog or cat and getting into everything.
This year is the first time we celebrated Halloween with my son. Last year we were dealing with a cold that kept him down for many days so Halloween came and went without him even knowing. This year however we made sure to dress him up and take him out.
First we went down to one of the many trick-or-treat festivities in the Chicago neighborhoods the weekend before Halloween. We enjoyed a day of walking up and down the street asking for candy and watching all the great costumes. William couldn’t get enough. He wanted to walk on his own, grab the candy from the people handing it out, and watch all the crazy other kids running and playing. He seemed to be in awe of his surroundings but loving being a part of the fun.
On the actual Halloween night we had planned to spend some time walking through our old neighborhood trick-or-treating, but changed our plans as a horribly cold and wet day swept through. We did get to about six houses with William bundled up so much you couldn’t tell what his costume was before calling it a night and heading home. He didn’t seem to mind the freezing temps and was enjoying his night out among the other brave souls fighting against the cold, but mom and me were ready to head in.
Another thing we never really did last year was enjoy the falling leaves. He wasn’t really doing anything but rolling over and starting to scoot so putting him into a pile of leaves wouldn’t have looked good on my father of the year application. But this year has been different. He loves adventuring off while on our walks to explore as much as he can on his own and now that he knows leaves aren’t gross, but are actually fun to walk through and throw, he won’t walk away from any leaf.
I spent close to a half hour with him standing in a pile of leaves while he shouted ready, set, go and throwing leaves up into the air. He loved watching as the leaves floated back down around his feet and was reaching for more as quickly as possible. We had to pull him away as he kicked and screamed because he wanted to stay in the pile. My wife was finding bits of leaf in his diaper as she got him ready for his bath later that night.
Having these new experiences with my son has made me appreciate the things I’ve taken granted for so many years. The delight of walking through colorful leaves, hearing the crunch beneath my feet, watching as they fall from the trees, and enjoying the changing seasons was something I’d forgotten to do over the last few years. Instead I would rush through my day not looking up and complain how the weather was getting too cold to enjoy being outside. I’d forgotten how much fun Halloween can be because I grew annoyed with the build up to the day, but watching my son be enthralled with the costumes and realize that all he had to do was walk up to people dressed in a firefighter’s costume and he’d get candy was fun.
I’ve missed so much over the years by not taking the time to look at things because I’ve done them so often that I’ve forgotten how amazing the world can be. This little guy I get to call my son is teaching me so much about the world around us that I appreciate every moment I get to spend with him and look forward to exploring more and more every day.